Men, women, and competition: An experimental test of behavior
This study reports a series of experiments that examine outcomes when agents are able to choose between a payment scheme that rewards based on absolute performance (i.e., piece rate) and a scheme that rewards based on relative performance (i.e., a tournament). We test for the presence and persistence of gender differences in performance and the rate of entry into the tournament option and whether these differences are sensitive to the structure of the tournament rewards. In the winner-take-all (WTA) condition, only the best performer in the tournament for each round received a payment ($4.50). In the graduated tournament condition, the same payment ($4.50) was divided among the first, second, and third finishers in the tournament. In the WTA condition, men showed significantly lower forecast errors than women. In addition, a clear sorting effect occurs in the WTA condition. In early rounds of the WTA condition, male entrants into the tournament show significantly lower forecast errors than female tournament entrants. However, the difference disappears over time. After controlling for forecasting skill, gender did not predict entry into the tournament for the WTA condition. However, lower forecasting skill reduced the probability of entry. In the graduated tournament, the situation was reversed. Men entered the tournament at significantly higher rates, even after controlling for skill. Forecasting skill had no impact on the decision to enter the tournament. While the average male entrant to the tournament had lower forecast errors than the average female entrant, the men entered at much higher rates. As a consequence, men were much more likely than women to enter the tournament too frequently.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Balzer, William K. & Sulsky, Lorne M. & Hammer, Leslie B. & Sumner, Kenneth E., 1992. "Task information, cognitive information, or functional validity information: Which components of cognitive feedback affect performance?," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 35-54, October.
- Brown, Paul M., 1995. "Learning from experience, reference points, and decision costs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 381-399, August.
- Frans van Dijk & Joep Sonnemans & Frans van Winden, 2000.
"Incentive Systems in a Real Effort Experiment,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
272, CESifo Group Munich.
- Knoeber, Charles R & Thurman, Walter N, 1994. "Testing the Theory of Tournaments: An Empirical Analysis of Broiler Production," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(2), pages 155-79, April.
- Vandegrift, Donald & Brown, Paul, 2003. "Task difficulty, incentive effects, and the selection of high-variance strategies: an experimental examination of tournament behavior," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 481-497, August.
- Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Michael L. Bognanno, 1990. "The incentive effects of tournaments revisited: Evidence from the European PGA tour," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 74-88, February.
- Brown, Paul M., 1998. "Experimental evidence on the importance of competing for profits on forecasting accuracy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 259-269, January.
- Bull, Clive & Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1985.
"Tournaments and Piece Rates: An Experimental Study,"
85-21, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Bull, Clive & Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1987. "Tournaments and Piece Rates: An Experimental Study," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 1-33, February.
- Jerry R. Green & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982.
"A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts,"
NBER Working Papers
0840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Xu, Peng, 1997. "Executive Salaries as Tournament Prizes and Executive Bonuses as Managerial Incentives in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 319-346, September.
- Terrance Odean, 1998. "Volume, Volatility, Price, and Profit When All Traders Are Above Average," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 1887-1934, December.
- Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
- Marianne Bertrand & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001.
"The Gender gap in top corporate jobs,"
Industrial and Labor Relations Review,
ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 3-21, October.
- Marianne Bertrand & Kevin F. Hallock, 2000. "The Gender Gap in Top Corporate Jobs," NBER Working Papers 7931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Marianne Bertrand & Kevin Hallock, 1999. "The Gender Gap in Top Corporate Jobs," Working Papers 805, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Harbring, Christine & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2003. "An experimental study on tournament design," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 443-464, August.
- Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance In Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074, August.
- Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979.
"Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts,"
NBER Working Papers
0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2001. "Boys Will Be Boys: Gender, Overconfidence, And Common Stock Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 261-292, February.
- 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.
- Terrance Odean, 1998. "Volume, Volatility, Price and Profit When All Traders Are Above Average," Finance 9803001, EconWPA.
- Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Michael L. Bognanno, 1988.
"Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?,"
NBER Working Papers
2638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bognanno, Michael L, 2001. "Corporate Tournaments," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 290-315, April.
- John List & Kenneth Leonard & Uri Gneezy, 2009.
"Gender differences in competition: Evidence from a matrilineal and a patriarchal society,"
Artefactual Field Experiments
00049, The Field Experiments Website.
- Uri Gneezy & Kenneth L. Leonard & John A. List, 2009. "Gender Differences in Competition: Evidence From a Matrilineal and a Patriarchal Society," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1637-1664, 09.
- Uri Gneezy & Kenneth L. Leonard & John A. List, 2008. "Gender Differences in Competition: Evidence from a Matrilineal and a Patriarchal Society," NBER Working Papers 13727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eriksson, Tor, 1999. "Executive Compensation and Tournament Theory: Empirical Tests on Danish Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 262-80, April.
- Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007.
"Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101, 08.
- Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete too Much?," Discussion Papers 04-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
- Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," NBER Working Papers 11474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Terza, Joseph V. & Basu, Anirban & Rathouz, Paul J., 2008. "Two-stage residual inclusion estimation: Addressing endogeneity in health econometric modeling," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 531-543, May.
- Christopher Ferrall, 1996. "Promotions and Incentives in Partnerships: Evidence from Major U.S. Law Firms," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(4), pages 811-27, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:72:y:2009:i:1:p:554-570. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.