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Let's (Not) Talk about Sex: The Effect of Information Provision on Gender Differences in Performance under Competition

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  • Nagore Iriberri
  • Pedro Rey-Biel

Abstract

We study how gender differences in performance under competition are affected by the provision of information regarding rivals gender and/or differences in relative ability. In a laboratory experiment, we use two tasks that differ regarding perceptions about which gender outperforms the other. We observe womens underperformance only under two conditions: 1) tasks are perceived as favoring men and 2) rivals gender is explicitly mentioned. This result can be explained by stereotype-threat being reinforced when explicitly mentioning gender in tasks in which women already consider they are inferior. Omitting information about gender is a safe alternative to avoid womens underperformance in competition.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 583.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:583

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Keywords: gender differences; competition; feedback information; gender perception; stereotype-threat;

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  1. Cárdenas, Juan-Camilo & Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Ranehill, Eva, 2010. "Gender Differences in Competitiveness and Risk Taking: Comparing Children in Colombia and Sweden," Research Papers in Economics, Stockholm University, Department of Economics 2010:18, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  2. Booth, Alison L. & Nolen, Patrick J., 2009. "Choosing to Compete: How Different Are Girls and Boys?," IZA Discussion Papers 4027, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. David Gill & Victoria Prowse, 2011. "Gender Differences and Dynamics in Competition: The Role of Luck," Economics Series Working Papers, University of Oxford, Department of Economics 564, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Anders Poulsen & Marie Claire Villeval, 2013. "Gender matching and competitiveness: experimental evidence," Post-Print, HAL halshs-00661770, HAL.
  5. Anna Dreber & Emma Essen & Eva Ranehill, 2011. "Outrunning the gender gap—boys and girls compete equally," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 567-582, November.
  6. Timothy N. Cason & William A. Masters & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2010. "Entry into Winner-Take-All and Proportional-Prize Contests: An Experimental Study," Working Papers, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute 10-10, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  7. Niels D. Grosse & Gerhard Riener, 2010. "Explaining Gender Differences in Competitiveness: Gender-Task Stereotypes," Jena Economic Research Papers, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics 2010-017, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  8. Wozniak, David, 2009. "Choices About Competition: Differences by gender and hormonal fluctuations, and the role of relative performance feedback," MPRA Paper 21097, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  10. Günther, Christina & Ekinci, Neslihan Arslan & Schwieren, Christiane & Strobel, Martin, 2010. "Women can't jump?--An experiment on competitive attitudes and stereotype threat," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 395-401, September.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Gender, science & stereotypes
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2012-05-19 12:26:39
  2. Universities as bullies
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2013-12-12 13:47:27
  3. Patriarchy as an emergent process
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-06-04 12:40:24

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