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Gender differences in interpersonal and intrapersonal competitive behavior

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  • Carpenter, Jeffrey
  • Frank, Rachel
  • Huet-Vaughn, Emiliano

Abstract

Gender differences in competitive behavior continue to be documented by economists and other social scientists; however, the bulk of the research addresses competition with others and excludes other economically relevant contests. In this paper, we ask: how does gender affect how individuals react to competing against themselves? In a laboratory experiment in which some subjects compete against others and some compete against themselves, we find women select into intrapersonal competition at significantly higher rates than interpersonal competition and comparatively more than men. In addition, we find that while perseverance or “grit” does not explain the gender difference in behavior, risk attitudes have some explanatory power.

Suggested Citation

  • Carpenter, Jeffrey & Frank, Rachel & Huet-Vaughn, Emiliano, 2018. "Gender differences in interpersonal and intrapersonal competitive behavior," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 170-176.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:77:y:2018:i:c:p:170-176
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2018.10.003
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    1. Catherine Eckel & Lata Gangadharan & Philip J. Grossman & Nina Xue, 2020. "The Gender Leadership Gap: Insights from Experiments," Monash Economics Working Papers 14-20, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    2. Apicella, Coren L. & Demiral, Elif E. & Mollerstrom, Johanna, 2020. "Compete with others? No, thanks. With myself? Yes, please!," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 187(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Competitiveness; Gender differences; Intrapersonal; Grit; Risk preference; Experiment;
    All these keywords.

    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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