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Gender and confidence: are women underconfident?


  • Niklas Jakobsson


Previous research finds that schoolgirls tend to be underconfident with respect to their mathematics performance, while schoolboys tend to be overconfident. We asked Swedish university students (aged 18--35) what grade they thought they would get in a macroeconomics exam 1 week later. These results were compared with their actual grade and we find no evidence of men being overconfident, but women are underconfident about their test performance. These results suggest that the findings that schoolgirls are underconfident about their math performance also carry over to grown-up women studying macroeconomics.

Suggested Citation

  • Niklas Jakobsson, 2012. "Gender and confidence: are women underconfident?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(11), pages 1057-1059, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:19:y:2012:i:11:p:1057-1059
    DOI: 10.1080/13504851.2011.613745

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    1. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-14-00676 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Eyal Lahav & Arad Nir & Erez Siniver, 2015. "Do differing pay schemes help close the gender gap in overconfidence," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(1), pages 30-36.
    3. Jan R. Magnus & Anatoly A. Peresetsky, 2017. "Grade Expectations: Rationality and Overconfidence," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-054/III, Tinbergen Institute.

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