Causes of Gender Differences in Competition: Theory and Evidence
AbstractWe use a game theoretic model of contests to assess different explanations for the male performance advantage in competition. Comparing the testable predictions of the model with the empirical evidence, we reject explanations involving male overcon- fidence, misperceptions about relative ability, and some preference differences. Ex- planations involving female underconfidence, stereotype threat, and adverse female reaction to competition are consistent with only some of the evidence, and an expla- nation involving lower male risk aversion is consistent with most of the evidence. Two explanations are consistent with all of the evidence: (i) male ability to perform may in- crease in the face of competition, possibly due to changes in testosterone or adrenaline; or (ii) males may care more about winning or get greater enjoyment from competition than females.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Miami, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2010-19.
Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming: Under Review
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Web page: http://www.bus.miami.edu/faculty-and-research/academic-departments/economics/index.html
More information through EDIRC
contests; gender differences; effort and productivity;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)
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