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Do Women Have More Shame than Men? An Experiment on Self-Assessment and the Shame of Overestimating Oneself

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  • Ludwig, Sandra
  • Thoma, Carmen

Abstract

We analyze how subjects’ self-assessment depends on whether its accuracy is observable to others. We find that women downgrade their selfassessment given observability while men do not. Women avoid the shame they may have if others observe that they overestimated themselves. Men, however, do not seem to be similarly shame-averse. This gender difference may be due to different societal expectations: While we find that men are expected to be overconfident, women are not. Shame-aversion may explain recent findings that women shy away from competition, demanding jobs and wage negotiations, as entering these situations is a statement to be confident of one’s ability.

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File URL: http://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/12905/1/Ludwig_Thoma_2012_Do_Women_Have_More_Shame_than_Men-An_Experiment_on_Self-Assessment_and_the_Shame_of_Overestimating_Oneself.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 12905.

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Date of creation: Apr 2012
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Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:12905

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Keywords: Gender; Shame; Self-confidence; Overconfidence; Experiment;

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References

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  1. Daniel Houser & Stefan Vetter & Joachim Winter, 2011. "Fairness and Cheating," Working Papers 1019, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
  2. 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.
  3. Eriksson, Tor & Poulsen, Anders & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2009. "Feedback and incentives: Experimental evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 679-688, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Thoma, Carmen, 2013. "Is Underconfidence Favored over Overconfidence? An Experiment on the Perception of a Biased Self-Assessment," Discussion Papers in Economics 17460, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

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