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Gender differences in competitive preferences: new cross-country empirical evidence


  • Werner Bönte

    () (Schumpeter School of Business and Economics, Jackstädt Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Research, University of Wuppertal)


This paper provides new empirical evidence on gender differences in competitive preferences using a representative data set of more than 25000 individuals from 36 countries. The empirical results show that the gender differences in competitive preferences are statistically significant in almost all countries with women having, on average, a lower preference for competitive situations than men. Although relatively substantial in most countries, the magnitude of gender differences varies considerably between countries. Results of a regression analysis suggest that the gender differences persist even when controlling for a number of potentially relevant variables. Furthermore, gender differences among adult men and women are hardly affected by the stage of life cycle.

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  • Werner Bönte, 2014. "Gender differences in competitive preferences: new cross-country empirical evidence," Schumpeter Discussion Papers SDP14008, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:bwu:schdps:sdp14008

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2011. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants, And Behavioral Consequences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 522-550, June.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Steffen Andersen & Seda Ertac & Uri Gneezy & John A. List & Sandra Maximiano, 2013. "Gender, Competitiveness, and Socialization at a Young Age: Evidence From a Matrilineal and a Patriarchal Society," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1438-1443, October.
    5. 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.
    6. Ali Ahmed, 2011. "Women are not always less competitive than men: evidence from Come Dine with Me," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(12), pages 1099-1101.
    7. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
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