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Competitive Pressure Widens the Gender Gap in Performance: Evidence from a Two-Stage Competition in Mathematics

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  • Iriberri, Nagore
  • Rey-Biel, Pedro

Abstract

In two-stage elimination math contests participants from four different age groups compete to pass from stage 1 to stage 2 and later to be among the winners. Although female participants have higher Math grades at school the gender gap reverses in the two stages of the contests. More importantly, following the same individual participant across different stages, we find that the gender gap in performance increases from stage 1 to stage 2 of the competition. The increase in female underperformance is attributed to higher competitive pressure and alternative explanations based on selection, discrimination and differences in reaction to increasing difficulty are ruled out.

Suggested Citation

  • Iriberri, Nagore & Rey-Biel, Pedro, 2016. "Competitive Pressure Widens the Gender Gap in Performance: Evidence from a Two-Stage Competition in Mathematics," CEPR Discussion Papers 11493, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11493
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Espinosa Maria Paz & Gardeazabal Javier, 2020. "The Gender-bias Effect of Test Scoring and Framing: A Concern for Personnel Selection and College Admission," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 20(3), pages 1-23, July.
    2. J.I. Conde-Ruiz & J.J. Ganuza & M. García, 2020. "Gender Gap and Multiple Choice Exams in Public Selection Processes," Studies on the Spanish Economy eee2020-07, FEDEA.
    3. Hoyer, Britta & van Huizen, Thomas & Keijzer, Linda & Rezaei, Sarah & Rosenkranz, Stephanie & Westbrock, Bastian, 2020. "Gender, competitiveness, and task difficulty: Evidence from the field," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    4. Kevin Boudreau & Nilam Kaushik, 2020. "The Gender Gap in Tech & Competitive Work Environments? Field Experimental Evidence from an Internet-of-Things Product Development Platform," NBER Working Papers 27154, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Pilar Beneito & Inés Rosell, 2018. "Gender responses to competitive pressure in college: a regression discontinuity design," Discussion Papers in Economic Behaviour 0518, University of Valencia, ERI-CES.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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