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The Impact of Advice on Women's and Men's Selection into Competition


  • Jordi Brandts

    () (Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC), Bellaterra 08193, Spain; and Barcelona GSE, Bellaterra 08193, Spain)

  • Valeska Groenert

    () (Markets, Organizations and Votes in Economics, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra 08193, Spain; and Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs, European Commission, Brussels 1049, Belgium)

  • Christina Rott

    () (Department of Business, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra 08193, Spain; and Department of Economics (AE1), School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands)


We conduct a laboratory experiment to study how advice by a more experienced and better-informed person affects an individual's entry into a real-effort tournament and the gender gap. Our experiment is motivated by the concerns raised by approaching the gender gap through affirmative action policies. Overall, advice improves the entry decision of subjects, in that forgone earnings due to wrong entry decisions go significantly down. The improvements are mainly driven by increased entry of strong-performing women, who also become more confident, and reduced entry of weak-performing men. We find that the overall gender gap persists even though it disappears among low and strong performers. The persistence is due to an emerging gender gap among intermediate performers driven by women (men) following more the advice to stay out of (enter) the tournament in this performance group. This paper was accepted by Uri Gneezy, behavioral economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Jordi Brandts & Valeska Groenert & Christina Rott, 2015. "The Impact of Advice on Women's and Men's Selection into Competition," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(5), pages 1018-1035, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:61:y:2015:i:5:p:1018-1035

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    Cited by:

    1. Iriberri, Nagore & Rey-Biel, Pedro, 2017. "Stereotypes are only a threat when beliefs are reinforced: On the sensitivity of gender differences in performance under competition to information provision," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 99-111.
    2. 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.
    3. Jordi Brandts & Cristina Rott, 2017. "Advice from Women and Men and Selection into Competition," Working Papers 1007, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.


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