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Beauty queens and battling knights: Risk taking and attractiveness in chess

  • Dreber, Anna
  • Gerdes, Christer
  • Gränsmark, Patrik

We explore the relationship between attractiveness and risk taking in chess. We use a large international panel dataset on high-level chess competitions which includes a control for the players’ skill in chess. This data is combined with results from a survey on an online labor market where participants were asked to rate the photos of 626 expert chess players according to attractiveness. Our results suggest that male chess players choose significantly riskier strategies when playing against an attractive female opponent, even though this does not improve their performance. Women's strategies are not affected by the attractiveness of the opponent.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 90 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 1-18

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:90:y:2013:i:c:p:1-18
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  1. John Horton & David Rand & Richard Zeckhauser, 2011. "The online laboratory: conducting experiments in a real labor market," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 399-425, September.
  2. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1174-94, December.
  3. Booth, Alison L. & Nolen, Patrick J., 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Behaviour: Does Nurture Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 4026, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  17. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
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