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Stereotypes are Only a Threat when Beliefs are Reinforced: On the Sensitivity of Gender Differences in Performance under Competition to Information Provision

Author

Listed:
  • Nagore Iriberri
  • Pedro Rey-Biel

Abstract

We show that the existence of gender differences in performance is highly sensitive to the task used to measure performance, to existing stereotypes and to informational conditions. Out of sixteen purposely designed treatments we find that women underperform when competing only when two conditions are met: 1) the task used is perceived as favoring men and 2) the presence of a rival is strongly primed through information provided before competing. Such sensitivity sheds light on the contradictory evidence found on stereotype-threat causing gender differences in performance under competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Nagore Iriberri & Pedro Rey-Biel, 2016. "Stereotypes are Only a Threat when Beliefs are Reinforced: On the Sensitivity of Gender Differences in Performance under Competition to Information Provision," Working Papers 880, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:880
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Gill & Victoria Prowse, 2014. "Gender differences and dynamics in competition: The role of luck," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5, pages 351-376, July.
    2. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
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    11. Wieland, Alice & Sarin, Rakesh, 2012. "Domain specificity of sex differences in competition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 151-157.
    12. Richard B. Freeman & Alexander M. Gelber, 2010. "Prize Structure and Information in Tournaments: Experimental Evidence," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 149-164, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Cubel & Santiago Sanchez-Pages, 2016. "Gender differences and stereotypes in strategic thinking," UB Economics Working Papers 2016/338, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB Economics.
    2. Peter Backus & Maria Cubel & Matej Guid & Santiago Sanchez-Pages & Enrique Lopez Manas, 2016. "Gender, Competition and Performance: Evidence from Real Tournaments," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1605, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    3. Jordi Brandts & Cristina Rott, 2017. "Advice from Women and Men and Selection into Competition," Working Papers 1007, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender differences; competition; gender perception; stereotype-threat; beliefs;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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