IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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


  • Jordi Brandts
  • Valeska Groenert
  • Christina Rott


We conduct a laboratory experiment to study how advice affects the gender gap in the entry into a real-effort tournament. Our experiment is motivated by the concerns raised by approaching the gender gap through affirmative action. Advice is given by subjects who have already had some experience with the participation decision. We show that advice improves the entry decision of subjects, in that forgone earnings due to wrong entry decisions go significantly down. This is mainly driven by significantly increased entry of strong performing women, who also become significantly more confident, and reduced entry of weak performing men.

Suggested Citation

  • Jordi Brandts & Valeska Groenert & Christina Rott, 2012. "The Impact of Advice on Women's and Men's Selection into Competition," Working Papers 663, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:663

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Uri Gneezy & Kenneth L. Leonard & John A. List, 2009. "Gender Differences in Competition: Evidence From a Matrilineal and a Patriarchal Society," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1637-1664, September.
    2. Eric Bettinger & Rachel Baker, 2011. "The Effects of Student Coaching in College: An Evaluation of a Randomized Experiment in Student Mentoring," NBER Working Papers 16881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bou{g}açhan Çelen & Shachar Kariv & Andrew Schotter, 2010. "An Experimental Test of Advice and Social Learning," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(10), pages 1687-1701, October.
    4. Schotter, Andrew & Sopher, Barry, 2007. "Advice and behavior in intergenerational ultimatum games: An experimental approach," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 365-393, February.
    5. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101.
    6. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance in Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074.
    7. Balafoutas, Loukas & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Sutter, Matthias, 2012. "Distributional preferences and competitive behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 125-135.
    8. Cason, Timothy N. & Masters, William A. & Sheremeta, Roman M., 2010. "Entry into winner-take-all and proportional-prize contests: An experimental study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 604-611, October.
    9. Booth, Alison & Nolen, Patrick, 2012. "Choosing to compete: How different are girls and boys?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 542-555.
    10. Francine D. Blau & Janet M. Currie & Rachel T. A. Croson & Donna K. Ginther, 2010. "Can Mentoring Help Female Assistant Professors? Interim Results from a Randomized Trial," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 348-352, May.
    11. Wozniak, David, 2009. "Choices About Competition: Differences by gender and hormonal fluctuations, and the role of relative performance feedback," MPRA Paper 21097, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Anders Poulsen & Marie Claire Villeval, 2013. "Gender Matching And Competitiveness: Experimental Evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 816-835, January.
    13. Raghuram Iyengar & Andrew Schotter, 2008. "Learning under supervision: an experimental study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(2), pages 154-173, June.
    14. Charness, Gary & Brandts, Jordi & Ellman, Matthew, 2012. "Let’s talk: How communication affects contract design," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt6z24s6rv, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    15. Jeffrey A. Flory & Andreas Leibbrandt & John A. List, 2010. "Do Competitive Work Places Deter Female Workers? A Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment on Gender Differences in Job-Entry Decisions," NBER Working Papers 16546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Gino, Francesca, 2008. "Do we listen to advice just because we paid for it? The impact of advice cost on its use," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 234-245, November.
    17. Reuben, Ernesto & Rey-Biel, Pedro & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2012. "The emergence of male leadership in competitive environments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 111-117.
    18. Andrew Schotter, 2003. "Decision Making with Naive Advice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 196-201, May.
    19. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
    20. Muriel Niederle & Carmit Segal & Lise Vesterlund, 2013. "How Costly Is Diversity? Affirmative Action in Light of Gender Differences in Competitiveness," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(1), pages 1-16, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    experiments; advice; gender gap in competitiveness;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:663. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bruno Guallar). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.