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Performance in Mixed-sex and Single-sex Tournaments: What We Can Learn from Speedboat Races in Japan

Author

Listed:
  • Booth, Alison L
  • Yamamura, Eiji

Abstract

In speedboat racing in Japan, women racers participate and compete in races under the same conditions as men, and all individuals are randomly assigned to mixed-gender or single-gender groups for each race. In this paper we use a sample of over 140,000 observations of individual-level racing records provided by the Japanese Speedboat Racing Association to examine how male-dominated circumstances affect women's racing performance. We control for individual fixed-effects plus a host of other factors affecting performance (such as starting lane, fitness and weather conditions). Our estimates reveal that women's race-time is slower in mixed-gender races than in all-women races, whereas men racer's time is faster in mixed-gender races than men-only races. In mixed-gender races, male racers are found to be more "aggressive" - as proxied by lane-changing - in spite of the risk of being penalized if they contravene the rules, whereas women follow less aggressive strategies. We find no difference in disqualifications between genders. We suggest that gender-differences in risk-attitudes and over-confidence may result in different responses to the competitive environment and penalties for rule-breaking, and that gender-identity also plays a role.

Suggested Citation

  • Booth, Alison L & Yamamura, Eiji, 2016. "Performance in Mixed-sex and Single-sex Tournaments: What We Can Learn from Speedboat Races in Japan," CEPR Discussion Papers 11685, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11685
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    Cited by:

    1. Collischon & Matthias, 2018. "Can Personality Traits Explain Glass Ceilings?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 965, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender and competition; gender identity; peer effects; tournaments; women's labor participation;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics

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