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Gender, Competitiveness, and Socialization at a Young Age: Evidence From a Matrilineal and a Patriarchal Society

  • Steffen Andersen

    (Copenhagen Business School)

  • Seda Ertac

    (Koc University)

  • Uri Gneezy

    (University of California, San Diego)

  • John A. List

    (University of Chicago)

  • Sandra Maximiano

    (Krannert School of Management)

Recent literature presents evidence that men are more competitively inclined than women. Since top-level careers usually require competitiveness, competitiveness differences provide an explanation for gender gaps in wages and differences in occupational choice. A natural question is whether women are born less competitive or whether they become so through the process of socialization. To pinpoint when in the socialization process the difference arises, we compare the competitiveness of children in matrilineal and patriarchal societies. We find that while there is no difference at any age in the matrilineal society, girls become less competitive around puberty in the patriarchal society. © 2013 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 1438-1443

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:95:y:2013:i:4:p:1438-1443
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