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Let's (not) talk about sex: The effect of information provision on gender differences in performance under competition

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  • Nagore Iriberri

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  • Pedro Rey-Biel

Abstract

We study how gender differences in performance under competition are affected by the provision of information regarding rival’s gender and/or differences in relative ability. In a laboratory experiment, we use two tasks that differ regarding perceptions about which gender outperforms the other. We observe women’s underperformance only under two conditions: 1) tasks are perceived as favoring men and 2) rivals’ gender is explicitly mentioned. This result can be explained by stereotype-threat being reinforced when explicitly mentioning gender in tasks in which women already consider they are inferior. Omitting information about gender is a safe alternative to avoid women’s underperformance in competition.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 1288.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1288

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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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Keywords: gender differences; competition; feedback information; gender perception; stereotype-threat;

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  1. Dreber, Anna & Emma, von Essen & Ranehill, Eva, 2009. "Outrunning the Gender Gap – Boys and Girls Compete Equally," Research Papers in Economics 2009:17, Stockholm University, Department of Economics, revised 01 Mar 2010.
  2. Alison L. Booth & Patrick Nolen, 2009. "Choosing to Compete: How Different are Girls and Boys?," CEPR Discussion Papers 602, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  3. Timothy N. Cason & William A. Masters & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2010. "Entry into Winner-Take-All and Proportional-Prize Contests: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 10-10, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  4. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Anders Poulsen & Marie Claire Villeval, 2013. "Gender Matching And Competitiveness: Experimental Evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 816-835, 01.
  5. Cárdenas, Juan-Camilo & Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Ranehill, Eva, 2010. "Gender differences in competitiveness and risk taking: comparing children in Colombia and Sweden," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 730, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 03 Jun 2011.
  6. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  7. David Gill & Victoria Prowse, 2011. "Gender Differences and Dynamics in Competition: The Role of Luck," Economics Series Working Papers 564, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  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.
  9. Niels D. Grosse & Gerhard Riener, 2010. "Explaining Gender Differences in Competitiveness: Gender-Task Stereotypes," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-017, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  10. 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.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Gender, science & stereotypes
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2012-05-19 12:26:39
  2. Universities as bullies
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2013-12-12 13:47:27
  3. Patriarchy as an emergent process
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-06-04 12:40:24

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