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Gender Gap in Admission Performance under Competitive Pressure

  • Stepan Jurajda
  • Daniel Munich

Do women perform worse than equally able men in stressful competitive settings? We ask this question for competitions with a high payoff---admissions to tuition-free selective universities. With data on an entire cohort of Czech students graduating from secondary schools and applying to universities, we show that, compared to men of similar general skills and subject-of-study preferences, women do not shy away from applying to more competitive programs and perform similarly well when competition is less intense, but perform substantially worse (are less likely to be admitted) when applying to very selective universities. This comparison holds even when controlling for unobservable skills

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Paper provided by The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague in its series CERGE-EI Working Papers with number wp371.

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Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp371
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  1. Victor Lavy, 2013. "Gender Differences in Market Competitiveness in a Real Workplace: Evidence from Performance‐based Pay Tournaments among Teachers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(569), pages 540-573, 06.
  2. Nekby, Lena & Thoursie, Peter Skogman & Vahtrik, Lars, 2007. "Gender and Self-Selection Into a Competitive Environment: Are Women More Overconfident Than Men?," IZA Discussion Papers 2794, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Anders Poulsen & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2005. "Male and Female Competitive Behavior - Experimental Evidence," Post-Print halshs-00180022, HAL.
  4. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2008. "Social Capital as Good Culture," CEPR Discussion Papers 6657, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Jurajda, Štepán & Paligorova, Teodora, 2006. "Female Managers and their Wages in Central Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 2303, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Bas Jacobs & Frederick Van Der Ploeg, 2006. "Guide to reform of higher education: a European perspective," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(47), pages 535-592, 07.
  7. Joseph Price, 2008. "Gender Differences in the Response to Competition," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(3), pages 320-333, April.
  8. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," NBER Working Papers 11474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2003. "Cluster-Sample Methods in Applied Econometrics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 133-138, May.
  10. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance In Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074, August.
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