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The Gender Gap Cracks Under Pressure: A Detailed Look at Male and Female Performance Differences During Competitions

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Author Info

  • Christopher Cotton

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Miami)

  • Frank McIntyre
  • Joseph Price

Abstract

Using data from multiple-period math competitions, we show that males outperform females of similar ability during the first period. However, the male advantage is not found in any subsequent period of competition, or even after a two-week break from competition. Some evidence suggests that males may actually perform worse than females in later periods. The analysis considers various experimental treatments and finds that the existence of gender differences depends crucially on the design of the competition and the task at hand. Even when the male advantage does exist, it does not persist beyond the initial period of competition.

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File URL: http://www.bus.miami.edu/_assets/files/faculty-and-research/academic-departments/eco/eco-working-papers/2010/wp-2010-18-The-Gender-Gap-Cracks.pdf
File Function: First version, 2009
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Miami, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2010-18.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming: Working Paper
Handle: RePEc:mia:wpaper:2010-18

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Related research

Keywords: competitiveness; gender differences; effort and productivity; field experiment;

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References

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  1. Booth, Alison L. & Nolen, Patrick J., 2009. "Choosing to Compete: How Different Are Girls and Boys?," IZA Discussion Papers 4027, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Joseph Price, 2008. "Gender Differences in the Response to Competition," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(3), pages 320-333, April.
  3. Juanna Schrøter Joensen & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 2009. "Is there a Causal Effect of High School Math on Labor Market Outcomes?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(1).
  4. Kristin Kleinjans, 2008. "Do Gender Differences in Preferences for Competition Matter for Occupational Expectations?," Economics Working Papers 2008-09, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  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. Kate Antonovics & Peter Arcidiacono & Randall Walsh, 2009. "The Effects of Gender Interactions in the Lab and in the Field," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 152-162, February.
  7. Wozniak, David, 2009. "Choices About Competition: Differences by gender and hormonal fluctuations, and the role of relative performance feedback," MPRA Paper 21097, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Günther, Christina & Ekinci, Neslihan Arslan & Schwieren, Christiane & Strobel, Martin, 2010. "Women can't jump?--An experiment on competitive attitudes and stereotype threat," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 395-401, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Doris, Aedín & O’Neill, Donal & Sweetman, Olive, 2013. "Gender, single-sex schooling and maths achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 104-119.
  2. Christopher Cotton & Frank McIntyre & Joseph Price, 2010. "Causes of Gender Differences in Competition: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 2010-19, University of Miami, Department of Economics.

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