Gender Differences and Dynamics in Competition: The Role of Luck
AbstractWe present experimental evidence which sheds new light on why women may be less competitive than men. Specifically, we observe striking differences in how men and women respond to good and bad luck in a competitive environment. Following a loss, women tend to reduce effort, and the effect is independent of the monetary value of the prize that the women failed to win. Men, on the other hand, reduce effort only after failing to win large prizes. Responses to previous competitive outcomes explain about 11% of the variation that we observe in women's efforts, but only about 4% of the variation in the effort of men, and differential responses to luck account for about half of the gender performance gap in our experiment. These findings help to explain both female underperformance in environments with repeated competition and the tendency for women to select into tournaments at a lower rate than men.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5022.
Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- Gill, David & Prowse, Victoria, 2012. "Gender differences and dynamics in competition: the role of luck," MPRA Paper 38220, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- David Gill & Victoria Prowse, 2011. "Gender Differences and Dynamics in Competition: The Role of Luck," Economics Series Working Papers 564, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Economics; Underlying Principles
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-07-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-EXP-2010-07-17 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2010-07-17 (Labour Economics)
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- Costa-Gomes, Miguel A. & Huck, Steffen & Weizsäcker, Georg, 2012. "Beliefs and actions in the trust game: Creating instrumental variables to estimate the causal effect," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2012-302, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
- Frick, Bernd, 2011. "Gender differences in competitiveness: Empirical evidence from professional distance running," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 389-398, June.
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