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Men Too Sometimes Shy Away from Competition: The Case of Team Competition

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  • Marie-Pierre Dargnies

    (WZB, 10785 Berlin, Germany)

Abstract

Recent results in experimental and personnel economics indicate that women do not like competitive environments as much as men. This paper presents an experimental design that gives participants the opportunity to enter a tournament as part of a team rather than alone. Although a large and significant gender gap in entry in the individual tournament is found, in line with the literature, no gender gap is found in entry in the team tournament. Women do not enter the tournament significantly more often when it is team based, but men enter significantly less when they are part of a team than when alone. The main reason for men's disaffection with team competition appears to be linked to the uncertainty of their teammate's performance in a team tournament. More precisely, high-performing men fear being the victims of the free-riding behavior of their teammate. Women, especially low-performing women, tend to enter the team tournament more often than the individual one when they know they will be matched to a teammate of the same level as their own. This paper was accepted by Teck Ho, decision analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Marie-Pierre Dargnies, 2012. "Men Too Sometimes Shy Away from Competition: The Case of Team Competition," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(11), pages 1982-2000, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:58:y:2012:i:11:p:1982-2000
    DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.1120.1542
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    Keywords

    teams; gender gap; tournament;
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