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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

Listed author(s):
  • Nagore Iriberri
  • Pedro Rey-Biel

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.

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File URL: http://www.barcelonagse.eu/sites/default/files/working_paper_pdfs/880.pdf
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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 880.

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Date of creation: Feb 2016
Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:880
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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, 07.
  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.
  3. Marie-Pierre Dargnies, 2012. "Men Too Sometimes Shy Away from Competition: The Case of Team Competition," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(11), pages 1982-2000, November.
  4. Christina Günther & Neslihan Arslan Ekinci & Christiane Schwieren & Martin Strobel, 2010. "Women can't jump?-An experiment on competitive attitudes and stereotype threat," Post-Print hal-00849415, HAL.
  5. Günther, Christina & Ekinci, Neslihan Arslan & Schwieren, Christiane & Strobel, Martin, 2010. "Women can't jump?--An experiment on competitive attitudes and stereotype threat," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 395-401, September.
  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. Cárdenas, Juan-Camilo & Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Ranehill, Eva, 2012. "Gender differences in competitiveness and risk taking: Comparing children in Colombia and Sweden," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 11-23.
  8. Wieland, Alice & Sarin, Rakesh, 2012. "Domain specificity of sex differences in competition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 151-157.
  9. 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.
  10. Olga Shurchkov, 2012. "Under Pressure: Gender Differences In Output Quality And Quantity Under Competition And Time Constraints," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(5), pages 1189-1213, October.
  11. 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.
  12. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2004. "Gender and Competition at a Young Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 377-381, May.
  13. 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.
  14. Uri Gneezy & Moshe Hoffman & John List, 2011. "Nurture affects gender differences in spatial abilities," Framed Field Experiments 00158, The Field Experiments Website.
  15. repec:feb:artefa:0100 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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