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Gender and preferences at a young age: Evidence from Armenia

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  • Khachatryan, Karen
  • Dreber, Anna
  • von Essen, Emma
  • Ranehill, Eva

Abstract

We look at gender differences in competitiveness, risk preferences and altruism in a large sample of children and adolescents aged 7–16 in Armenia. Post-Soviet Armenia has few formal barriers to gender equality but is also characterized by a patrilineal kinship system and traditional gender roles. In contrast to research conducted in Western countries, we find that girls increase their performance more than boys in response to competition in a running task. We find no gender differences in the other three tasks we explore: skipping rope, a mathematical task, and a verbal task. We also find no difference in the willingness to compete in either the mathematical or the verbal task. In line with previous research, we find that boys are less altruistic and more risk taking than girls, and that the latter gap appears around the age of puberty.

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  • Khachatryan, Karen & Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Ranehill, Eva, 2015. "Gender and preferences at a young age: Evidence from Armenia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 318-332.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:118:y:2015:i:c:p:318-332
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.02.021
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    Cited by:

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    2. Andreoni, James & Di Girolamo, Amalia & List, John A. & Mackevicius, Claire & Samek, Anya, 2020. "Risk preferences of children and adolescents in relation to gender, cognitive skills, soft skills, and executive functions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 729-742.
    3. Etienne Dagorn & David Masclet & Thierry Penard, 2019. "Les expériences sur les préférences individuelles et sociales des enfants et des adolescents : une revue de la litterature," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 2019-11, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    4. Boschini, Anne & Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Muren, Astri & Ranehill, Eva, 2018. "Gender, risk preferences and willingness to compete in a random sample of the Swedish population," Working Paper Series 10/2018, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    5. Carpenter, Jeffrey & Frank, Rachel & Huet-Vaughn, Emiliano, 2018. "Gender differences in interpersonal and intrapersonal competitive behavior," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 170-176.
    6. Aurelie Dariel & Curtis Kephart & Nikos Nikiforakis & Christina Zenker, 2017. "Emirati women do not shy away from competition: evidence from a patriarchal society in transition," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 3(2), pages 121-136, December.
    7. Sule Alan & Seda Ertac & Elif Kubilay & Gyongyi Loranth, 2020. "Understanding Gender Differences in Leadership," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 130(626), pages 263-289.
    8. Timo Heinrich & Jason Shachat, 2020. "The development of risk aversion and prudence in Chinese children and adolescents," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 61(3), pages 263-287, December.
    9. Elizabeth J. Casabianca & Alessia Lo Turco & Claudia Pigini, 2020. "Equal Pay for Equal Task: Assessing Heterogeneous Returns to Tasks across Genders," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 197-239, April.
    10. Eiji Yamamura & Ryohei Hayashi & Yoshiro Tsutsui & Fumio Ohtake, 2018. "Racers f attractive looks, popularity, and performance: How do speedboat racers react to fans f expectations?," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 18-28, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics.
    11. Chen, Zhuoqiong (Charlie) & Ong, David & Segev, Ella, 2017. "Heterogeneous risk/loss aversion in complete information all-pay auctions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 23-37.
    12. Hillesland, Marya, 2019. "Gender differences in risk behavior: An analysis of asset allocation decisions in Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 127-137.
    13. Dániel Horn & Hubert János Kiss & Tünde Lénárd, 2021. "Gender differences in preferences of adolescents: evidence from a large-scale classroom experiment," CERS-IE WORKING PAPERS 2103, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
    14. Nicolas EBER & Abel FRANCOIS & Laurent WEILL, 2020. "Gender, Age, and Attitude toward Competition," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2020-07, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.
    15. John A. List & Ragan Petrie & Anya Samek, 2021. "How Experiments with Children Inform Economics," NBER Working Papers 28825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Jetter, Michael & Walker, Jay K., 2017. "Gender Differences in Competitiveness and Risk-Taking among Children, Teenagers, and College Students: Evidence from Jeopardy!," IZA Discussion Papers 11201, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Sutter, Matthias & Zoller, Claudia & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela, 2019. "Economic behavior of children and adolescents – A first survey of experimental economics results," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 98-121.
    18. Boschini, Anne & Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Muren, Astri & Ranehill, Eva, 2019. "Gender, risk preferences and willingness to compete in a random sample of the Swedish population✰," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
    19. Ingvild Almås & Alexander W. Cappelen & Kjell G. Salvanes & Erik Ø. Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2016. "Willingness to Compete: Family Matters," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(8), pages 2149-2162, August.
    20. Samek, Anya & Gray, Andre & Datar, Ashlesha & Nicosia, Nancy, 2021. "Adolescent time and risk preferences: Measurement, determinants and field consequences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 460-488.
    21. Klege, Rebecca Afua & Visser, Martine & Barron A, Manuel F. & Clarke, Rowan P., 2021. "Competition and gender in the lab vs field: Experiments from off-grid renewable energy entrepreneurs in Rural Rwanda," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 91(C).
    22. Aurélie Dariel & Nikos Nikiforakis & Jan Stoop, 2020. "Does selection bias cause us to overestimate gender differences in competitiveness?," Working Papers 20200046, New York University Abu Dhabi, Department of Social Science, revised May 2020.
    23. Birk, Erica G. & Lee, Logan M. & Waddell, Glen R., 2016. "Do Men Matter to Female Competition Even When They Don't?," IZA Discussion Papers 10184, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Competitiveness; Risk preferences; Altruism; Children; Gender differences; Experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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