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Beauty Queens and Battling Knights: Risk Taking and Attractiveness in Chess

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Author Info

  • Dreber Almenberg, Anna

    ()
    (Institute for Financial Research (SIFR))

  • Gerdes, Christer

    ()
    (SOFI, Stockholm University)

  • Gränsmark, Patrik

    ()
    (SOFI, Stockholm University)

Abstract

We explore the relationship between attractiveness and risk taking in chess. We use a large international panel dataset on chess competitions which includes a control for the players' skill in chess. This data is combined with results from a survey on an online labor market where participants were asked to rate the photos of 626 expert chess players according to attractiveness. Our results suggest that male chess players choose significantly riskier strategies when playing against an attractive female opponent, even though this does not improve their performance. Women's strategies are not affected by the attractiveness of the opponent.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5314.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2013, 90, 1-18
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5314

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Keywords: chess; attractiveness; risk taking; gender differences;

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References

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  1. Marianne Bertrand & Dean Karlan & Sendhil Mullainathan & Eldar Shafir & Jonathan Zinman, 2010. "What's Advertising Content Worth? Evidence from a Consumer Credit Marketing Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 263-305, February.
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  3. Craig E. Landry & Andreas Lange & John A. List & Michael K. Price & Nicholas G. Rupp, 2006. "Toward an Understanding of the Economics of Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 747-782, May.
  4. Biddle, Jeff E & Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1998. "Beauty, Productivity, and Discrimination: Lawyers' Looks and Lucre," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 172-201, January.
  5. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete too Much?," Discussion Papers 04-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  6. Mobius, Markus & Rosenblat, Tanya, 2010. "Why Beauty Matters," Staff General Research Papers 32112, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Alison L. Booth & Patrick Nolen, 2012. "Gender differences in risk behaviour: does nurture matter?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(558), pages F56-F78, 02.
  8. Andreoni,J. & Petrie,R., 2004. "Beauty, gender and stereotypes : evidence from laboratory experiments," Working papers 6, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  9. Marianne Bertrand & Dean S. Karlan & Sendhil Mullainathan & Eldar Shafir & Jonathan Zinman, 2005. "What's Psychology Worth? A Field Experiment in the Consumer Credit Market," Working Papers 918, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  10. Gabriele Paolacci & Jesse Chandler & Panagiotis G. Ipeirotis, 2010. "Running experiments on Amazon Mechanical Turk," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 5(5), pages 411-419, August.
  11. Solnick, Sara J. & Schweitzer, Maurice E., 1999. "The Influence of Physical Attractiveness and Gender on Ultimatum Game Decisions," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 199-215, September.
  12. Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik & Poutvaara, Panu, 2010. "The looks of a winner: Beauty and electoral success," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 8-15, February.
  13. Bram Van den Bergh & Siegfried Dewitte & Luk Warlop, 2008. "Bikinis Instigate Generalized Impatience in Intertemporal Choice," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 85-97, 01.
  14. Gerdes, Christer & Gränsmark, Patrik, 2010. "Strategic behavior across gender: A comparison of female and male expert chess players," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 766-775, October.
  15. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  16. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1174-94, December.
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  18. Fletcher, Jason M., 2009. "Beauty vs. brains: Early labor market outcomes of high school graduates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(3), pages 321-325, December.
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  20. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance In Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Björn Frank & Stefan Krabel, 2012. "Gens una sumus? – Or Does Political Ideology Affect Experts’ Aesthetic Judgement of Chess Games," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201237, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  2. Niclas Berggren & Henrik Jordahl & Panu Poutvaara, 2010. "The Right Look: Conservative Politicians Look Better and their Voters Reward it," CESifo Working Paper Series 3310, CESifo Group Munich.

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