IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/joepsy/v61y2017icp176-190.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Choking under pressure and gender: Evidence from professional tennis

Author

Listed:
  • Cohen-Zada, Danny
  • Krumer, Alex
  • Rosenboim, Mosi
  • Shapir, Offer Moshe

Abstract

We exploit a unique setting in which two professionals compete in a real-life tennis contest with high monetary rewards in order to assess how men and women respond to competitive pressure. Comparing their performance in low-stakes versus high-stakes situations, we find that men consistently choke under competitive pressure, but with regard to women the results are mixed. Furthermore, even if women show a drop in performance in the more crucial stages of the match, it is in any event about 50% smaller than that of men. These findings are robust to different specifications and estimation strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Cohen-Zada, Danny & Krumer, Alex & Rosenboim, Mosi & Shapir, Offer Moshe, 2017. "Choking under pressure and gender: Evidence from professional tennis," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 176-190.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:61:y:2017:i:c:p:176-190
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2017.04.005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016748701630589X
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
    ---><---

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. González-Díaz, Julio & Gossner, Olivier & Rogers, Brian W., 2012. "Performing best when it matters most: Evidence from professional tennis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 767-781.
    2. Paserman, M. Daniele, 2007. "Gender Differences in Performance in Competitive Environments: Evidence from Professional Tennis Players," IZA Discussion Papers 2834, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Alex Krumer & Mosi Rosenboim & Offer Moshe Shapir, 2016. "Gender, Competitiveness, and Physical Characteristics," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 17(3), pages 234-259, April.
    4. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2011. "Gender and Competition," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 601-630, September.
    5. Sunde, Uwe, 2003. "Potential, Prizes and Performance: Testing Tournament Theory with Professional Tennis Data," IZA Discussion Papers 947, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. repec:hrv:faseco:30703974 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. 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.
    8. Stepan Jurajda & Daniel Munich, 2011. "Gender Gap in Performance under Competitive Pressure: Admissions to Czech Universities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 514-518, May.
    9. Thomas Buser & Muriel Niederle & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2014. "Gender, Competitiveness, and Career Choices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(3), pages 1409-1447.
    10. Romain Gauriot & Lionel Page, 2019. "Does Success Breed Success? a Quasi-Experiment on Strategic Momentum in Dynamic Contests," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(624), pages 3107-3136.
    11. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2010. "Explaining the Gender Gap in Math Test Scores: The Role of Competition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 129-144, Spring.
    12. Jose Apesteguia & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2010. "Psychological Pressure in Competitive Environments: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2548-2564, December.
    13. Uwe Sunde, 2009. "Heterogeneity and performance in tournaments: a test for incentive effects using professional tennis data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(25), pages 3199-3208.
    14. Hickman, Daniel C. & Metz, Neil E., 2015. "The impact of pressure on performance: Evidence from the PGA TOUR," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 319-330.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. Dohmen, Thomas J., 2008. "Do professionals choke under pressure?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 636-653, March.
    18. Jetter, Michael & Walker, Jay K., 2015. "Game, set, and match: Do women and men perform differently in competitive situations?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 96-108.
    19. Evren Ors & Frédéric Palomino & Eloïc Peyrache, 2013. "Performance Gender Gap: Does Competition Matter?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(3), pages 443-499.
    20. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2015. "Gender Differences in Reaction to Psychological Pressure: Evidence from Tennis Players," IZA Discussion Papers 9315, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    21. Macpherson, David A & Hirsch, Barry T, 1995. "Wages and Gender Composition: Why Do Women's Jobs Pay Less?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(3), pages 426-471, July.
    22. Polachek, Solomon William, 1981. "Occupational Self-Selection: A Human Capital Approach to Sex Differences in Occupational Structure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 60-69, February.
    23. Dan Ariely & Uri Gneezy & George Loewenstein & Nina Mazar, 2009. "Large Stakes and Big Mistakes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 451-469.
    24. Cecilia Rouse & Claudia Goldin, 2000. "Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 715-741, September.
    25. David A. Malueg & Andrew J. Yates, 2010. "Testing Contest Theory: Evidence from Best-of-Three Tennis Matches," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(3), pages 689-692, August.
    26. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
    27. 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.
    28. Klaassen F. J G M & Magnus J. R., 2001. "Are Points in Tennis Independent and Identically Distributed? Evidence From a Dynamic Binary Panel Data Model," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 96, pages 500-509, June.
    29. 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.
    30. Sandra E. Black & Philip E. Strahan, 2001. "The Division of Spoils: Rent-Sharing and Discrimination in a Regulated Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 814-831, September.
    31. Victor Lavy, 2013. "Gender Differences in Market Competitiveness in a Real Workplace: Evidence from Performance‐based Pay Tournaments among Teachers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(569), pages 540-573, June.
    32. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Krumer, Alex & Shtudiner, Ze'ev, 2017. "Psychological momentum and gender," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 66-81.
    33. Catherine C. Eckel & Sascha C. Füllbrunn, 2015. "Thar SHE Blows? Gender, Competition, and Bubbles in Experimental Asset Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(2), pages 906-920, February.
    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. Bar-Eli, Michael & Krumer, Alex & Morgulev, Elia, 2020. "Ask not what economics can do for sports - Ask what sports can do for economics," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 89(C).
    2. Helena Fornwagner & Monika Pompeo & Nina Serdarevic, 2020. "Him or her? Choosing competition on behalf of someone else," Discussion Papers 2020-13, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    3. Harb-Wu, Ken & Krumer, Alex, 2019. "Choking under pressure in front of a supportive audience: Evidence from professional biathlon," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 246-262.
    4. Dainis Zegners & Uwe Sunde & Anthony Strittmatter, 2020. "Decisions and Performance Under Bounded Rationality: A Computational Benchmarking Approach," Papers 2005.12638, arXiv.org, revised Dec 2020.
    5. Bühren, Christoph & Steinberg, Philip J., 2019. "The impact of psychological traits on performance in sequential tournaments: Evidence from a tennis field experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 12-29.
    6. Böheim, René & Grübl, Dominik & Lackner, Mario, 2019. "Choking under pressure – Evidence of the causal effect of audience size on performance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 76-93.
    7. Viktor Bozhinov & Nora Grote, 2019. "Performance under Pressure on the Court: Evidence from Professional Volleyball," Working Papers 1901, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.
    8. Nicolas Houy & Jean-Philippe Nicolaï & Marie Claire Villeval, 2020. "Always doing your best? Effort and performance in dynamic settings," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 89(3), pages 249-286, October.
    9. Iqbal, Hamzah & Krumer, Alex, 2017. "Discouragement Effect and Intermediate Prizes in Multi-Stage Contests: Evidence from Tennis’s Davis Cup," Economics Working Paper Series 1719, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    10. Klein Teeselink, Bouke & Potter van Loon, Rogier J.D. & van den Assem, Martijn J. & van Dolder, Dennie, 2020. "Incentives, performance and choking in darts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 38-52.
    11. Krumer, Alex, 2020. "Pressure versus ability: Evidence from penalty shoot-outs between teams from different divisions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 89(C).
    12. Massimiliano Ferraresi & Gianluca Gucciardi, 2020. "Team performance and audience: experimental evidence from the football sector," Working papers 94, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
    13. Miller, Danny & Pastoriza, David & Plante, Jean-François, 2019. "Conditioning competitive risk: Competitors’ rank proximity and relative ability," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 161-175.
    14. Sanne J. Joustra & Ruud H. Koning & Alex Krumer, 2021. "Order Effects in Elite Gymnastics," De Economist, Springer, vol. 169(1), pages 21-35, February.
    15. Pikos, Anna Katharina & Straub, Alexander, 2019. "Mind the absent gap: Gender-specific competitiveness in non-professional sports," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-652, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    16. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Krumer, Alex & Shapir, Offer Moshe, 2018. "Testing the effect of serve order in tennis tiebreak," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 106-115.
    17. Simcha Avugos & Ofer H. Azar & Nadav Gavish & Eran Sher & Michael Bar-Eli, 2019. "Goal center width, how to count sequences, and the gambler's fallacy in soccer penalty shootouts," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 14(1), pages 98-108, January.
    18. Hendrik Sonnabend, 2020. "On discouraging environments in team contests: Evidence from top‐level beach volleyball," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 41(6), pages 986-997, September.
    19. Bucciol, Alessandro & Castagnetti, Alessandro, 2020. "Choking under pressure in archery," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 89(C).
    20. Bühren, Christoph & Kadriu, Valon, 2020. "The fairness of long and short ABBA-sequences: A basketball free-throw field experiment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 89(C).
    21. Iqbal, Hamzah & Krumer, Alex, 2019. "Discouragement effect and intermediate prizes in multi-stage contests: Evidence from Davis Cup," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 364-381.
    22. Christoph Buehren & Lisa Traeger, 2020. "The Impact of Psychological Pressure and Psychological Traits on Performance – Experimental Evidence of Penalties in Handball," MAGKS Papers on Economics 202043, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    23. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Krumer, Alex & Shapir, Offer Moshe, 2017. "Take a Chance on ABBA," IZA Discussion Papers 10878, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    24. Anna Katharina Pikos & Alexander Straub, 2020. "Mind the Absent Gap: Gender-Specific Competitive Behavior in Nonprofessional Sports," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 21(3), pages 215-233, April.

    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. Jetter, Michael & Walker, Jay K., 2015. "Game, set, and match: Do women and men perform differently in competitive situations?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 96-108.
    2. Peter Backus & Maria Cubel & Matej Guid & Santiago Sanchez-Pages & Enrique Lopez Manas, 2016. "Gender, Competition and Performance: Evidence from Real Tournaments," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1605, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    3. 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.
    4. Jana Cahlíková & Lubomír Cingl & Ian Levely, 2020. "How Stress Affects Performance and Competitiveness Across Gender," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(8), pages 3295-3310, August.
    5. Iqbal, Hamzah & Krumer, Alex, 2019. "Discouragement effect and intermediate prizes in multi-stage contests: Evidence from Davis Cup," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 364-381.
    6. Iqbal, Hamzah & Krumer, Alex, 2017. "Discouragement Effect and Intermediate Prizes in Multi-Stage Contests: Evidence from Tennis’s Davis Cup," Economics Working Paper Series 1719, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    7. 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).
    8. Bar-Eli, Michael & Krumer, Alex & Morgulev, Elia, 2020. "Ask not what economics can do for sports - Ask what sports can do for economics," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 89(C).
    9. Krumer, Alex, 2020. "Pressure versus ability: Evidence from penalty shoot-outs between teams from different divisions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 89(C).
    10. Maria De Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2015. "Gender Differences In Reaction To Psychological Pressure: Evidence From Tennis Players," Working Papers 201506, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
    11. Sophie Clot & Marina Della Giusta & Giovanni Razzu, 2020. "Gender gaps in competition: new experimental evidence from UK," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2020-15, Department of Economics, Reading University.
    12. Czibor, Eszter & Onderstal, Sander & Sloof, Randolph & van Praag, C. Mirjam, 2020. "Does relative grading help male students? Evidence from a field experiment in the classroom," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    13. Hoyer, Britta & van Huizen, Thomas & Keijzer, Linda & Rezaei, Sarah & Rosenkranz, Stephanie & Westbrock, Bastian, 2020. "Gender, competitiveness, and task difficulty: Evidence from the field," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    14. Mara Grasseni & Federica Origo, 2018. "Competing for Happiness: Attitudes to Competition, Positional Concerns and Wellbeing," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 19(7), pages 1981-2008, October.
    15. Paserman, M. Daniele, 2007. "Gender Differences in Performance in Competitive Environments: Evidence from Professional Tennis Players," IZA Discussion Papers 2834, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Clot, Sophie & Della Giusta, Marina & Razzu, Giovanni, 2020. "Gender Gaps in Competition: New Experimental Evidence from UK Professionals," IZA Discussion Papers 13323, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Daniel Montolio & Pere A. Taberner, 2018. "Gender differences under test pressure and their impact on academic performance: a quasi-experimental design," Working Papers 2018/21, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    18. Hendrik Sonnabend, 2020. "On discouraging environments in team contests: Evidence from top‐level beach volleyball," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 41(6), pages 986-997, September.
    19. Fang,Sheng & Goh,Chorching & Roberts,Mark & Xu,L. Colin & Zeufack,Albert G., 2020. "Female Business Leaders, Business and Cultural Environment, and Productivity around the World," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9275, The World Bank.
    20. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender; Performance; Competitive pressure; Tennis; Choking;
    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

    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:joepsy:v:61:y:2017:i:c:p:176-190. 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: (Nithya Sathishkumar). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep .

    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.