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The Menstrual Cycle and Performance Feedback Alter Gender Differences in Competitive Choices

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Author Info

  • David Wozniak

    ()
    (Eastern Michigan University)

  • William T. Harbaugh

    ()
    (University of Oregon)

  • Ulrich Mayr

    ()
    (University of Oregon)

Abstract

Economic experiments have shown that in mixed gender groups women are more reluctant than men to choose tournaments when given the choice between piece rate and winner-take-all tournament style compensation. These gender difference experiments have all relied on a framework where subjects were not informed of their abilities relative to potential competitors. We replicate these findings with math and word tasks, and then show that feedback about relative performance moves high ability females towards more competitive compensation schemes, moves low ability men towards less competitive schemes such as piece rate and group pay, and removes the average gender difference in compensation choices. We also examine between and within-subjects differences in choices for females across the menstrual cycle. We find women's relative reluctance to choose tournaments comes mostly from women in the low hormone phase of their menstrual cycle. Women in the high hormone phase are substantially more willing to compete than women in the low phase, though still somewhat less willing to compete than men. There are no significant differences between the choices of any of these groups after they receive relative performance feedback.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oregon Economics Department in its series University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers with number 2010-2.

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Date of creation: 28 Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ore:uoecwp:2010-2

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Keywords: competition; tournaments; gender; hormones; menstruation; feedback;

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Cited by:
  1. Burkhard Schipper, 2012. "Sex Hormones and Competitive Bidding," Working Papers 128, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  2. Azmat, Ghazala & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2014. "Gender and the Labor Market: What Have We Learned from Field and Lab Experiments?," IZA Discussion Papers 8135, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Burkhard Schipper, 2012. "Sex Hormones and Choice under Risk," Working Papers 127, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  4. Noémi Berlin & Marie-Pierre Dargnies, 2012. "Linking Beliefs to Willingness to Compete," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00755660, HAL.
  5. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00755660 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Ghazala Azmat & Barbara Petrongolo, 2014. "Gender and the Labor Market: What Have We Learned from Field and Lab Experiments?," CEP Occasional Papers 40, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Noémi Berlin & Marie-Pierre Dargnies, 2012. "Linking Beliefs to Willingness to Compete," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 12075, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  8. Peter J. Kuhn & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2013. "Are Women More Attracted to Cooperation Than Men?," NBER Working Papers 19277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jeffery Flory & Uri Gneezy & Kenneth Leonard & John List, 2012. "Sex, competitiveness, and investment in offspring: On the origin of preferences," Artefactual Field Experiments 00072, The Field Experiments Website.
  10. Hiroko Okudaira & Yusuke Kinari & Noriko Mizutani & Fumio Ohtake & Akira Kawaguchi, 2014. "Older Sisters and Younger Brothers: The Impact of Siblings on Preference for Competition," ISER Discussion Paper 0896, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.

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