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Gender Differences in Competition Emerge Early in Life

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Author Info

  • Sutter, Matthias

    ()
    (European University Institute)

  • Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela

    ()
    (University of Innsbruck)

Abstract

We study gender differences in the willingness to compete in a large-scale experiment with 1,035 children and teenagers, aged three to eighteen years. Using an easy math task for children older than eight years and a running task for the younger ones we find that boys are much more likely to enter a tournament than girls across the whole age spectrum considered here. This gender gap is observed already with three-year olds, indicating that gender differences in competitiveness emerge very early in life. The gap is robust to controlling for gender differences in risk attitudes and overconfidence.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5015.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5015

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Keywords: children; experiment; gender gap; competition; teenagers;

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References

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