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An Economic Model of the Evolution of the Gender Performance Ratio in Individual Sports

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  • Dupuy, Arnaud

    ()
    (CEPS/INSTEAD)

Abstract

This paper shows that the gender world record ratio in four disciplines, i.e. marathon, triple jump, pole vault and 800 meters, follows an S-shape over time. It is argued that this pattern is initiated by a sudden drop in the social barrier for women to participate in these disciplines. This drop in social barrier materializes – later – by the authorization for women to participate at major events, such as the Olympic Games, in these disciplines. The paper builds a simple economic model of sector self-selection and human capital accumulation with intrinsic disutility (social barriers) to participate in some sectors. As social barriers are removed in a sector, the Gender Performance Ratio is shown to follow an S-shape over time under very basic assumptions and calibrations. Ability self-selection, measured as the difference between mean ability of women in that sector and population mean, becomes more positive after removal of the social barrier.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4838.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 2012, 12 (1), 222-245
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4838

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Keywords: human capital investments; sector self-selection; gender performance ratio;

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  1. Casey B. Mulligan & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Selection, Investment, and Women's Relative Wages Over Time," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1061-1110, August.
  2. Lalith Munasinghe & Brendan O'Flaherty & Stephan Danninger, 2001. "Globalization and the Rate of Technological Progress: What Track and Field Records Show," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1132-1149, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Erik Hurst & Charles I. Jones & Peter J. Klenow, 2013. "The Allocation of Talent and U.S. Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 18693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. René Böheim & Mario Lackner, 2013. "Gender and Competition: Evidence from Jumping Competitions," Economics working papers, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria 2013-05, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  3. Frick, Bernd, 2011. "Gender differences in competitiveness: Empirical evidence from professional distance running," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 389-398, June.

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