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Luck or skill: How women and men react to noisy feedback

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  • Shastry, Gauri Kartini
  • Shurchkov, Olga
  • Xia, Lingjun Lotus

Abstract

We design an experiment that sheds light on the asymmetry in how men and women interpret noisy feedback about relative standing and how this gender difference can affect tournament entry. Women attribute negative feedback to lack of ability, even when the feedback is due to bad luck. High-ability men who receive negative feedback correctly attribute it to luck. Men attribute negative feedback to lack of ability only when it confirms prior beliefs. We find consistent gender differences in tournament entry: noisy feedback eliminates the gender gap but primarily because low-performing men opt out of tournament. High-performing women who receive surprising negative feedback reduce tournament entry, generating a gender gap in performance and earnings relative to the setting without feedback.

Suggested Citation

  • Shastry, Gauri Kartini & Shurchkov, Olga & Xia, Lingjun Lotus, 2020. "Luck or skill: How women and men react to noisy feedback," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 88(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:88:y:2020:i:c:s2214804320301403
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2020.101592
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    3. Charness, Gary & Dao, Lien & Shurchkov, Olga, 2022. "Competing now and then: The effects of delay on competitiveness across gender," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 198(C), pages 612-630.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender differences; Competition; Attribution; Feedback; Economic experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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