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Can personality explain what is underlying women’s unwillingness to compete?

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  • Müller, Julia
  • Schwieren, Christiane

Abstract

There is ample evidence that women do not react to competition as men do and are less willing to enter a competition than men. In this paper, we use personality variables to understand the underlying motives of women (and men) to enter a competition or avoid it. We use the Big Five personality factors, where especially neuroticism has been related to performance in achievement settings. We first test whether scores on the Big Five are related to performance in our experiment, and second how this is related to incentives. We can show that the sex difference in the willingness to enter a competition is mediated by neuroticism and further that neuroticism is negatively related to performance in competiton. This raises the possibility that those women who do not choose competitive incentives “know” that they should not.

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  • Müller, Julia & Schwieren, Christiane, 2012. "Can personality explain what is underlying women’s unwillingness to compete?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 448-460.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:33:y:2012:i:3:p:448-460
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2011.12.005
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    Cited by:

    1. Becchetti, Leonardo & Degli Antoni, Giacomo & Ottone, Stefania & Solferino, Nazaria, 2013. "Allocation criteria under task performance: The gendered preference for protection," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 96-111.
    2. Antonio Filippin & Paolo Crosetto, 2016. "A Reconsideration of Gender Differences in Risk Attitudes," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(11), pages 3138-3160, November.
    3. Maria Cubel & Ana Nuevo‐Chiquero & Santiago Sanchez‐Pages & Marian Vidal‐Fernandez, 2016. "Do Personality Traits Affect Productivity? Evidence from the Laboratory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(592), pages 654-681, May.
    4. Müller, Julia & Schwieren, Christiane, 2017. "Using Personality Questionnaires in Experiments -- Limits and Potentials," MPRA Paper 78132, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. repec:eee:jeborg:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:96-109 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Werner Bönte & Sandro Lombardo & Diemo Urbig, 2016. "Economics meets Psychology:Experimental and self-reported Measures of Individual Competitiveness," Schumpeter Discussion Papers SDP16006, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    7. Masclet, David & Peterle, Emmanuel & Larribeau, Sophie, 2015. "Gender differences in tournament and flat-wage schemes: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 103-115.
    8. Maria Cubel & Ana Nuevo-Chiquero & Santiago Sanchez-Pages & Marian Vidal-Fernandez, 2014. "Do Personality Traits Affect Productivity? Evidence from the Lab," Working Papers 2014012, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    9. Cadsby, C. Bram & Servátka, Maroš & Song, Fei, 2013. "How competitive are female professionals? A tale of identity conflict," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 284-303.
    10. Seda Ertac & Mehmet Y. Gurdal, 2012. "Personality, Group Decision-Making and Leadership," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1227, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
    11. Vasiliki Gargalianou & Katrin Muehlfeld & Diemo Urbig & Arjen van Witteloostuijn, 2016. "Foreign Language Anxiety in Professional Contexts," Schmalenbach Business Review, Springer;Schmalenbach-Gesellschaft, vol. 17(2), pages 195-223, August.
    12. Sproten, Alec N. & Schwieren, Christiane, 2012. "Age differences in the reaction to incentives – do older people avoid competition?," Working Papers 0522, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    13. 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.
    14. Muriel Niederle, 2014. "Gender," NBER Working Papers 20788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Buckert, Magdalena & Schwieren, Christiane & Kudielka, Brigitte M. & Fiebach , Christian J., 2015. "How stressful are economic competitions in the lab? An investigation with physiological measures," Working Papers 0593, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    16. Paolo Crosetto & Antonio Filippin & Janna Heider, 2015. "A Study of Outcome Reporting Bias Using Gender Differences in Risk Attitudes," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 61(1), pages 239-262.
    17. Hammond, Robert G. & Morrill, Thayer, 2016. "Personality traits and bidding behavior in competing auctions," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 39-55.
    18. 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.
    19. Ernesto Reuben & Matthew Wiswall & Basit Zafar, 2017. "Preferences and Biases in Educational Choices and Labour Market Expectations: Shrinking the Black Box of Gender," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(604), pages 2153-2186, September.
    20. Werner Bönte & Monika Piegeler, 2013. "Gender gap in latent and nascent entrepreneurship: driven by competitiveness," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 961-987, December.
    21. repec:eee:crpeac:v:27:y:2015:i:c:p:177-188 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Vasiliki Gargalianou & Katrin Muehlfeld & Diemo Urbig & Arjen Van Witteloostuijn, 2015. "The Effects of Gender and Personality on Foreign Language Anxiety among Adult Multilinguals," Schumpeter Discussion Papers SDP15002, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    23. repec:eee:joepsy:v:62:y:2017:i:c:p:231-245 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. repec:eee:joecag:v:6:y:2015:i:c:p:176-186 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender; Personality; Big Five; Five-factor model; Competition; Experiment;

    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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