IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jeborg/v86y2013icp52-66.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Gender differences in repeated competition: Evidence from school math contests

Author

Listed:
  • Cotton, Christopher
  • McIntyre, Frank
  • Price, Joseph

Abstract

The literature shows that males react more favorably than females to competitive incentives. This well-known result, however, is based on experiments in which participants engage in only a one-shot contest. We conduct a series of math contests in elementary schools which are similar to past experiments except for one notable exception: subjects compete in five sequential contests, rather than a one-shot contest typically used. Although males outperform females in the first period contest, we find no evidence of a male advantage in subsequent periods. Females even outperform males in later periods. The data suggests that the relative overperformance of low-ability males and the underperformance of high-ability females are primarily responsible for the first period results. Additionally, even the first period male advantage disappears when we reduce the time pressure or change the task at hand.

Suggested Citation

  • Cotton, Christopher & McIntyre, Frank & Price, Joseph, 2013. "Gender differences in repeated competition: Evidence from school math contests," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 52-66.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:86:y:2013:i:c:p:52-66
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2012.12.029
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268112003010
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jebo.2012.12.029?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    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. 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.
    2. Sutter, Matthias & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela, 2010. "Gender Differences in Competition Emerge Early in Life," IZA Discussion Papers 5015, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    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. Cárdenas, Juan-Camilo & Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Ranehill, Eva, 2012. "Gender differences in competitiveness and risk taking: Comparing children in Colombia and Sweden," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 11-23.
    6. Booth, Alison & Nolen, Patrick, 2012. "Choosing to compete: How different are girls and boys?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 542-555.
    7. Joseph Price, 2008. "Gender Differences in the Response to Competition," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(3), pages 320-333, April.
    8. Olga Shurchkov, 2012. "Under Pressure: Gender Differences In Output Quality And Quantity Under Competition And Time Constraints," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(5), pages 1189-1213, October.
    9. Juanna Schrøter Joensen & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 2009. "Is there a Causal Effect of High School Math on Labor Market Outcomes?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(1).
    10. Crawford, Vincent P., 2002. "Introduction to Experimental Game Theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 1-15, May.
    11. Eriksson, Tor & Poulsen, Anders & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2009. "Feedback and incentives: Experimental evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 679-688, December.
    12. Gregan-Paxton, Jennifer & John, Deborah Roedder, 1995. "Are Young Children Adaptive Decision Makers? A Study of Age Differences in Information Search Behavior," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(4), pages 567-580, March.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. Harbaugh, William T. & Krause, Kate & Vesterlund, Lise, 2007. "Learning to bargain," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 127-142, January.
    16. 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.
    17. Kristin Kleinjans, 2008. "Do Gender Differences in Preferences for Competition Matter for Occupational Expectations?," Economics Working Papers 2008-09, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    18. Weigelt, Keith & Dukerich, Janet & Schotter, Andrew, 1989. "Reactions to discrimination in an incentive pay compensation scheme: A game-theoretic approach," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 26-44, August.
    19. Kate Antonovics & Peter Arcidiacono & Randall Walsh, 2009. "The Effects of Gender Interactions in the Lab and in the Field," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 152-162, February.
    20. John, Deborah Roedder, 1999. "Consumer Socialization of Children: A Retrospective Look at Twenty-Five Years of Research," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(3), pages 183-213, December.
    21. Kräkel, Matthias, 2008. "Emotions in tournaments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 204-214, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. John, June Park, 2017. "Gender differences and the effect of facing harder competition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 201-222.
    2. 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).
    3. Migheli, Matteo, 2010. "Gender at work: Productivity and incentives," POLIS Working Papers 142, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
    4. Anna Dreber & Emma Essen & Eva Ranehill, 2014. "Gender and competition in adolescence: task matters," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(1), pages 154-172, March.
    5. Cueva, Carlos & Rustichini, Aldo, 2015. "Is financial instability male-driven? Gender and cognitive skills in experimental asset markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 330-344.
    6. Jetter, Michael & Walker, Jay K., 2018. "The gender of opponents: Explaining gender differences in performance and risk-taking?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 238-256.
    7. Christopher Cotton & Frank McIntyre & Joseph Price, 2010. "The Gender Gap Cracks Under Pressure: A Detailed Look at Male and Female Performance Differences During Competitions," NBER Working Papers 16436, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Migheli, Matteo, 2015. "Gender at work: Incentives and self-sorting," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 10-18.
    9. Jetter, Michael & Walker, Jay K., 2016. "Gender in Jeopardy!: The Role of Opponent Gender in High-Stakes Competition," IZA Discussion Papers 9669, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Samak, Anya C., 2013. "Is there a gender gap in preschoolers’ competitiveness? An experiment in the U.S," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 22-31.
    11. Nagore Iriberri & Pedro Rey-Biel, 2011. "Let's (not) talk about sex: The effect of information provision on gender differences in performance under competition," Economics Working Papers 1288, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    12. Frick, Bernd, 2011. "Gender differences in competitiveness: Empirical evidence from professional distance running," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 389-398, June.
    13. Emmanuel Dechenaux & Dan Kovenock & Roman Sheremeta, 2015. "A survey of experimental research on contests, all-pay auctions and tournaments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 609-669, December.
    14. De Paola, Maria & Gioia, Francesca & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2015. "Are females scared of competing with males? Results from a field experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 117-128.
    15. Eber, Nicolas & François, Abel & Weill, Laurent, 2021. "Gender, age, and attitude toward competition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 192(C), pages 668-690.
    16. Eisenkopf, Gerald & Hessami, Zohal & Fischbacher, Urs & Ursprung, Heinrich W., 2015. "Academic performance and single-sex schooling: Evidence from a natural experiment in Switzerland," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 123-143.
    17. Ghazala Azmat & Nagore Iriberri, 2010. "The provision of relative performance feedback information: An experimental analysis of performance and happiness," Economics Working Papers 1216, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    18. 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.
    19. Anat Bracha & Chaim Fershtman, 2013. "Competitive Incentives: Working Harder or Working Smarter?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(4), pages 771-781, April.
    20. Dato, Simon & Nieken, Petra, 2014. "Gender differences in competition and sabotage," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 64-80.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Competitiveness; Gender differences; Field experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)

    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:86:y:2013:i:c:p:52-66. 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: . 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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo .

    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.