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Gender and competition in adolescence: task matters

  • Anna Dreber


  • Emma Essen


  • Eva Ranehill


We look at gender differences among adolescents in Sweden in preferences for competition, altruism and risk. For competitiveness, we explore two different tasks that differ in associated stereotypes. We find no gender difference in competitiveness when comparing performance under competition to that without competition. We further find that boys and girls are equally likely to self-select into competition in a verbal task, but that boys are significantly more likely to choose to compete in a mathematical task. This gender gap diminishes and becomes non-significant when we control for actual performance, beliefs about relative performance, and risk preferences, or for beliefs only. Girls are also more altruistic and less risk taking than boys. Copyright Economic Science Association 2014

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Article provided by Springer & Economic Science Association in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 17 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 154-172

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Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:17:y:2014:i:1:p:154-172
DOI: 10.1007/s10683-013-9361-0
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