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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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    Cited by:

    1. Terrier, Camille, 2016. "Boys Lag Behind: How Teachers' Gender Biases Affect Student Achievement," IZA Discussion Papers 10343, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Matthias Collischon, 2019. "Relative Pay, Rank and Happiness: A Comparison Between Genders and Part- and Full-Time Employees," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 67-80, January.
    3. Jana Cahlíková & Lubomír Cingl & Ian Levely, 2020. "How Stress Affects Performance and Competitiveness Across Gender," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(8), pages 3295-3310, August.
    4. Uri Gneezy & John A. List & Jeffrey A. Livingston & Xiangdong Qin & Sally Sadoff & Yang Xu, 2019. "Measuring Success in Education: The Role of Effort on the Test Itself," American Economic Review: Insights, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 291-308, December.
    5. Alós-Ferrer, Carlos & García-Segarra, Jaume & Ritschel, Alexander, 2018. "Performance curiosity," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-17.
    6. Jetter, Michael & Walker, Jay K., 2018. "The gender of opponents: Explaining gender differences in performance and risk-taking?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 238-256.
    7. Calsamiglia, Caterina & Loviglio, Annalisa, 2019. "Grading on a curve: When having good peers is not good," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    8. Sonnabend, Hendrik & Lackner, Mario, 2020. "Gender differences in overconfidence and decision making in high-stakes competitions: evidence from freediving contests," VfS Annual Conference 2020 (Virtual Conference): Gender Economics 224595, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    9. Hanna M. Sittenthaler & Alwine Mohnen, 2020. "Cash, non-cash, or mix? Gender matters! The impact of monetary, non-monetary, and mixed incentives on performance," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 90(8), pages 1253-1284, September.
    10. Maggian, Valeria & Montinari, Natalia & Nicolò, Antonio, 2020. "Do quotas help women to climb the career ladder? A laboratory experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 123(C).
    11. 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 School of Economics.
    12. Judith M. Delaney & Paul J. Devereux, 2021. "Gender and Educational Achievement: Stylized Facts and Causal Evidence," Working Papers 202103, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    13. Philip J. Grossman & Youngseok Park & Jean Paul Rabanal & Olga A. Rud, 2019. "Gender differences in an endogenous timing conflict game," Working Papers 141, Peruvian Economic Association.
    14. Xiqian Cai & Yi Lu & Jessica Pan & Songfa Zhong, 2019. "Gender Gap under Pressure: Evidence from China's National College Entrance Examination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 249-263, May.
    15. Maria De Paola & Rosetta Lombarso & Valeria Pupo & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2020. "Do Women Shy Away From Public Speaking? A Field Experiment," Working Papers 202001 Classification-JEL, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
    16. Lu, Yi & Shi, Xinzheng & Zhong, Songfa, 2018. "Competitive experience and gender difference in risk preference, trust preference and academic performance: Evidence from Gaokao in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 1388-1410.
    17. Hanna M. Sittenthaler & Alwine Mohnen, 0. "Cash, non-cash, or mix? Gender matters! The impact of monetary, non-monetary, and mixed incentives on performance," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-32.
    18. Daniel Montolio & Pere A. Taberner, 2018. "Gender differences under test pressure and their impact on academic performance: a quasi-experimental design," Working Papers 2018/21, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    19. Carlos Alós-Ferrer & Jaume García-Segarra & Alexander Ritschel, 2018. "The Big Robber Game," ECON - Working Papers 291, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    20. Silvia Griselda, 2020. "Different Questions, Different Gender Gap: Can the Format of Questions Explain the Gender Gap in Mathematics?," 2020 Papers pgr710, Job Market Papers.
    21. Eunsik Chang & María Padilla-Romo, 2019. "The Effects of Local Violent Crime on High-Stakes Tests," Working Papers 2019-03, University of Tennessee, Department of Economics.
    22. Terrier, Camille, 2020. "Boys lag behind: How teachers’ gender biases affect student achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
    23. Farré, Lídia & Ortega, Francesc, 2019. "Selecting Talent: Gender Differences in Participation and Success in Competitive Selection Processes," IZA Discussion Papers 12530, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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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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