IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jeborg/v83y2012i1p82-97.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The importance of being confident; gender, career choice, and willingness to compete

Author

Listed:
  • Kamas, Linda
  • Preston, Anne

Abstract

This study investigates the extent to which gender differences in choosing to enter competitive tournaments are due to women's lower taste for competition or differences in confidence. We examine three types of confidence and find that confidence measured by expected ranking is the most important determinant of decisions to enter tournaments. Conditional on ability, this measure eliminates gender differences in winner-take-all tournaments and, when entered with risk measures, eliminates differences in ranked compensation tournaments. When the sample is split by career choice, there are no gender differences for students in STEM fields, and in the humanities and the social sciences differences can be explained by confidence. However, for business school students, gender differences in willingness to compete in winner-take-all tournaments persist even after accounting for risk aversion and confidence. Men in business set themselves apart from the rest of the population (men and women alike) with the highest levels of tournament entry and the most positive performance responses to competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Kamas, Linda & Preston, Anne, 2012. "The importance of being confident; gender, career choice, and willingness to compete," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 82-97.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:83:y:2012:i:1:p:82-97
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2011.06.013
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268111001582
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Niels D. Grosse & Gerhard Riener, 2010. "Explaining Gender Differences in Competitiveness: Gender-Task Stereotypes," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-017, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    2. 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.
    3. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance in Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074.
    4. 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, September.
    5. Vandegrift, Donald & Yavas, Abdullah, 2009. "Men, women, and competition: An experimental test of behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 554-570, October.
    6. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk, 2011. "Performance Pay and Multidimensional Sorting: Productivity, Preferences, and Gender," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 556-590, April.
    7. Cason, Timothy N. & Masters, William A. & Sheremeta, Roman M., 2010. "Entry into winner-take-all and proportional-prize contests: An experimental study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 604-611, October.
    8. 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.
    9. Bjorn Bartling & Ernst Fehr & Michel Andre Marechal & Daniel Schunk, 2009. "Egalitarianism and Competitiveness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 93-98, May.
    10. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101.
    11. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Zhuoqiong (Charlie) & Ong, David & Sheremeta, Roman M., 2015. "The gender difference in the value of winning," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 226-229.
    2. 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.
    3. Britta Hoyer & T.M. van Huizen & L.M. Keijzer & T. Rezaei Khavas & S. Rosenkranz & B. Westbrock, 2016. "Do talented women shy away from competition?," Working Papers 16-06, Utrecht School of Economics.
    4. Boulu-Reshef, Béatrice & Comeig, Irene & Donze, Robert & Weiss, Gregory D., 2016. "Risk aversion in prediction markets: A framed-field experiment," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 5071-5075.
    5. Norma Burow & Miriam Beblo & Denis Beninger & Melanie Schröder, 2017. "Why Do Women Favor Same-Gender Competition? Evidence from a Choice Experiment," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1662, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. François Cochard & Hélène Couprie & Astrid Hopfensitz, 2018. "What if women earned more than their spouses? An experimental investigation of work-division in couples," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 21(1), pages 50-71, March.
    7. Shulamit Kahn & Donna Ginther, 2017. "Women and STEM," NBER Working Papers 23525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. John Ifcher & Homa Zarghamee, 2016. "Pricing competition: a new laboratory measure of gender differences in the willingness to compete," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(3), pages 642-662, September.
    9. Comeig, Irene & Grau-Grau, Alfredo & Jaramillo-Gutiérrez, Ainhoa & Ramírez, Federico, 2016. "Gender, self-confidence, sports, and preferences for competition," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 1418-1422.
    10. Pedro Bordalo & Katherine Coffman & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2016. "Stereotypes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(4), pages 1753-1794.
    11. Vandegrift, Donald & Duke, Kristen, 2015. "Competitive behavior, impact on others, and the number of competitors," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 37-44.
    12. Valeria Maggian & Antonio Nicolò, 2016. "The wrong man for the job: biased beliefs and job mismatching," Post-Print halshs-01324733, HAL.
    13. Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Frank, Rachel & Huet-Vaughn, Emiliano, 2017. "Gender Differences in Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Competitive Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 10626, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. 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.
    15. Muriel Niederle, 2014. "Gender," NBER Working Papers 20788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Debosree Banerjee & Marcela Ibanez & Gerhard Riener & Meike Wollni, 2015. "Volunteering to Take on Power: Experimental Evidence from Matrilineal and Patriarchal Societies in India," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 191, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    17. Jeworrek, Sabrina, 2016. "Competition Entry and Relative Performance Feedback: The Importance of Information Disaggregated by Gender," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145859, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    18. John Ifcher & Homa Zarghamee, 2016. "Do Gender-Variant Preferences For Competition Persist In The Absence Of Performance?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(4), pages 1918-1930, October.
    19. van Veldhuizen, Roel, 2016. "Gender differences in tournament choices: Risk preferences, overconfidence or competitiveness?," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2016-207, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    20. Asiedu, Edward & Ibanez, Marcela, 2014. "The weaker sex? Gender differences in punishment across Matrilineal and Patriarchal Societies," Discussion Papers 165743, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    21. Hügelschäfer, Sabine & Achtziger, Anja, 2014. "On confident men and rational women: It’s all on your mind(set)," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 31-44.
    22. Baixauli-Soler, J. Samuel & Belda-Ruiz, Maria & Sanchez-Marin, Gregorio, 2015. "Executive stock options, gender diversity in the top management team, and firm risk taking," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 451-463.
    23. SUZUKI, Aya & MANO, Yukichi & ABEBE, Girum, 2017. "Earnings, Savings, and Job Satisfaction in a Labor-intensive Export Sector: Evidence from the Cut Flower Industry in Ethiopia," Discussion paper series HIAS-E-55, Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study, Hitotsubashi University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender; Confidence; Competition; Risk aversion; Business major; STEM major;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:83:y:2012:i:1:p:82-97. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.