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Choices About Competition: Differences by gender and hormonal fluctuations, and the role of relative performance feedback

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  • Wozniak, David

Abstract

Economic experiments have shown that when given the choice between piece-rate and winner-take-all tournament style compensation, women are more reluctant than men to choose tournaments. These gender difference experiments have all relied on a similar framework where subjects were not informed of their relative abilities as compared to other potential competitors. I replicate these previous findings and then I show that giving feedback about past relative performance moves high ability females towards more competitive compensation schemes, moves low ability men towards less competitive compensation schemes such as piece-rate and group pay, and removes the gender difference in compensation choices. I then examine between and within-subjects differences in choices for females, across the menstrual cycle. I find that, before receiving relative performance feedback, women in the low-hormone phase of their cycle are less likely to enter tournaments than women in the high-hormone phase. Men are more likely to choose tournaments than females at either stage. There are no significant selection differences between any of these groups after they receive relative performance feedback.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 21097.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:21097

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Related research

Keywords: Competition; Hormones; Gender; Menstrual cycle; Information; Performance feedback; Competitive environments; Gender differences;

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References

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  1. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2004. "Gender and Competition at a Young Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 377-381, May.
  2. Pearson, Matthew & Schipper, Burkhard C, 2009. "Menstrual cycle and competitive bidding," MPRA Paper 16784, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Borghans Lex & Golsteyn Bart & Heckman James & Meijers Huub, 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Ambiguity Aversion," ROA Research Memorandum 005, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
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  5. Charness, Gary B & Gneezy, Uri, 2007. "Strong Evidence for Gender Differences in Investment," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt428481s8, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  6. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin, 2011. "Performance Pay and Multidimensional Sorting - Productivity, Preferences and Gender," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 360, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  7. Chen, Yan & Katuščák, Peter & Ozdenoren, Emre, 2013. "Why canʼt a woman bid more like a man?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 181-213.
  8. Muriel Niederle & Carmit Segal & Lise Vesterlund, 2008. "How Costly is Diversity? Affirmative Action in Light of Gender Differences in Competitiveness," NBER Working Papers 13923, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. William T. Harbaugh & Kate Krause & Lise Vesterlund, 1999. "Risk attitudes of children and adults: choices over small and large probability gains and losses," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 1999-2, University of Oregon Economics Department.
  13. Matsushita, Raul & Baldo, Dinorá & Martin, Bruna & Da Silva, Sergio, 2007. "The biological basis of expected utility anomalies," MPRA Paper 4520, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Polachek, Solomon William, 1981. "Occupational Self-Selection: A Human Capital Approach to Sex Differences in Occupational Structure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 60-69, February.
  15. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  16. 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.
  17. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  18. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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