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Gender Differences in Response to Big Stakes

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  • Ghazala Azmat
  • Caterina Calsamiglia
  • Nagore Iriberri

Abstract

It is commonly perceived that increasing incentives improves performance. However, the reaction to increased incentives might differ between men and women, leading to gender differences in performance. In a natural experiment, we study the gender difference in performance resulting from changes in stakes. We use detailed information on the performance of high-school students and exploit the variation in the stakes of tests, which range from 5% to 27% of the final grade. We find that female students outperform male students in all tests—but to a relatively larger degree when the stakes are low. The gender gap disappears in tests taken at the end of high school, which count for 50% of the university entry grade.

Suggested Citation

  • Ghazala Azmat & Caterina Calsamiglia & Nagore Iriberri, 2014. "Gender Differences in Response to Big Stakes," CEP Discussion Papers dp1314, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1314
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz & Ilyana Kuziemko, 2006. "The Homecoming of American College Women: The Reversal of the College Gender Gap," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 133-156, Fall.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Stakes; gender gaps; performance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • C30 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - General

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