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Sex, competitiveness, and investment in offspring: On the origin of preferences

Listed author(s):
  • Jeffery Flory
  • Uri Gneezy
  • Kenneth Leonard
  • John List

Gender differences in competitive behavior have received much attention, demonstrating a systematic gap between males' and females' tendencies to compete. Theories predict a biological factor linked to an evolutionary response to the different paths to reproductive success for men and women. Since strategies for reproductive success change over the female life-cycle, the gender gap is predicted to be largest for young adults but after menopause women should be as competitive as men. Using data drawn from two very different societies, we find strong support for this theoretical prediction: competitiveness in women is tightly linked to their biological roles in childrearing.

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Paper provided by The Field Experiments Website in its series Artefactual Field Experiments with number 00072.

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Date of creation: 2012
Handle: RePEc:feb:artefa:00072
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.fieldexperiments.com

References listed on IDEAS
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  1. John List & Warren McHone & Daniel Millimet, 2003. "Effects of air quality regulation on the destination choice of relocating plants," Natural Field Experiments 00502, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Arthur J. Robson & Larry Samuelson, 2009. "The Evolution of Time Preference with Aggregate Uncertainty," Levine's Working Paper Archive 814577000000000087, David K. Levine.
  3. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance in Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074.
  4. Marie-Claire Villeval & Nabanita Datta Gupta & Anders Poulsen, 2005. "Male and Female Competitive Behavior - Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 0512, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  5. John List & Michael Price, 2005. "Conspiracies and secret price discounts in the marketplace: Evidence from field experiments," Framed Field Experiments 00115, The Field Experiments Website.
  6. repec:feb:artefa:0106 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. List, John A & Shogren, Jason F, 1998. "The Deadweight Loss of Christmas: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1350-1355, December.
  8. Dekel, Eddie & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1999. "On the Evolution of Attitudes towards Risk in Winner-Take-All Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 125-143, July.
  9. Booth, Alison L & Nolen, Patrick J, 2009. "Choosing To Compete: How Different Are Girls and Boys?," Economics Discussion Papers 2916, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  10. List, John A. & Cherry, Todd L., 2008. "Examining the role of fairness in high stakes allocation decisions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-8, January.
  11. John A. List, 2006. "Using Hicksian Surplus Measures to Examine Consistency of Individual Preferences: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(1), pages 115-134, 03.
  12. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2004. "Gender and Competition at a Young Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 377-381, May.
  13. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete too Much?," Discussion Papers 04-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  14. John A. List, 2004. "Young, Selfish and Male: Field evidence of social preferences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(492), pages 121-149, 01.
  15. John List, 2003. "Does market experience eliminate market anomalies?," Natural Field Experiments 00297, The Field Experiments Website.
  16. List John A. & Millimet Daniel L & McHone Warren, 2004. "The Unintended Disincentive in the Clean Air Act," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-28, February.
  17. List, John A. & Margolis, Michael & Shogren, Jason F., 1998. "Hypothetical-actual bid calibration of a multigood auction," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 263-268, September.
  18. List, John & Sturm, Daniel M, 2004. "How Elections Matter: Theory and Evidence from Environmental Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 4489, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. repec:feb:framed:0068 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. John List & Warren McHone & Daniel Millimet, 2004. "Effects of environmental regulation on foreign and domestic plant births: is there a home field advantage?," Natural Field Experiments 00492, The Field Experiments Website.
  21. Gary Charness & Marie Claire Villeval, 2009. "Cooperation and Competition in Intergenerational Experiments in the Field and the Laboratory," Post-Print halshs-00464388, HAL.
  22. John List, 2004. "Testing Neoclassical Competitive Theory in Multilateral Decentralized Markets," Natural Field Experiments 00490, The Field Experiments Website.
  23. John List & Michael Price, 2009. "The role of social connections in charitable fundraising: Evidence from a natural field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00302, The Field Experiments Website.
  24. List, John A. & Shogren, Jason F., 1998. "Calibration of the difference between actual and hypothetical valuations in a field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 193-205, October.
  25. repec:feb:framed:0052 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Uri Gneezy & John List & George Wu, 2006. "The uncertainty effect: When a risky prospect is valued less than its worst possible outcome," Framed Field Experiments 00152, The Field Experiments Website.
  27. John A. List, 2009. "Social Preferences: Some Thoughts from the Field," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 563-583, 05.
  28. List, John A. & Peysakhovich, Yana, 2011. "Charitable donations are more responsive to stock market booms than busts," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 166-169, February.
  29. John A. List & Daniel L. Millimet & Per G. Fredriksson & W. Warren McHone, 2003. "Effects of Environmental Regulations on Manufacturing Plant Births: Evidence from a Propensity Score Matching Estimator," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 944-952, November.
  30. John List, 2006. "Friend or Foe? A Natural Experiment of the Prisoner's Dilemma," Natural Field Experiments 00483, The Field Experiments Website.
  31. John A. List & Daniel Millimet, 2004. "The Market: Catalyst for Rationality and Filter of Irrationality," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000023, UCLA Department of Economics.
  32. John A. List, 2003. "Neoclassical Theory Versus Prospect Theory: Evidence from the Marketplace," NBER Working Papers 9736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. John List, 2004. "The nature and extent of discrimination in the marketplace: Evidence from the field," Natural Field Experiments 00299, The Field Experiments Website.
  34. Jeffrey A. Flory & Andreas Leibbrandt & John A. List, 2010. "Do Competitive Work Places Deter Female Workers? A Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment on Gender Differences in Job-Entry Decisions," NBER Working Papers 16546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. John A. List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2002. "The Effects of Seed Money and Refunds on Charitable Giving: Experimental Evidence from a University Capital Campaign," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 215-233, February.
  36. Gary Charness & Marie Claire Villeval, 2009. "Cooperation and Competition in Intergenerational Experiments in the Field and in the Laboratory," Post-Print halshs-00371984, HAL.
  37. repec:feb:framed:0070 is not listed on IDEAS
  38. John A. List, 2005. "The Behavioralist Meets the Market: Measuring Social Preferences and Reputation Effects in Actual Transactions," NBER Working Papers 11616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. List, John A. & Rondeau, Daniel, 2003. "The impact of challenge gifts on charitable giving: an experimental investigation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 153-159, May.
  40. List, John A & Bulte, Erwin H & Shogren, Jason F, 2002. ""Beggar Thy Neighbor": Testing for Free Riding in State-Level Endangered Species Expenditures," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 111(3-4), pages 303-315, June.
  41. John List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2000. "Demand reduction in a multi-unit auction: Evidence from a sportscard field experiment," Framed Field Experiments 00180, The Field Experiments Website.
  42. Uri Gneezy & Kenneth L. Leonard & John A. List, 2009. "Gender Differences in Competition: Evidence From a Matrilineal and a Patriarchal Society," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1637-1664, 09.
  43. David Wozniak & William T. Harbaugh & Ulrich Mayr, 2010. "The Menstrual Cycle and Performance Feedback Alter Gender Differences in Competitive Choices," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2010-2, University of Oregon Economics Department.
  44. John List & Charles Mason, 2010. "Are ceos expected utility maximizers?," Artefactual Field Experiments 00090, The Field Experiments Website.
  45. List John A., 2007. "Field Experiments: A Bridge between Lab and Naturally Occurring Data," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-47, April.
  46. John List, 2005. "Scientific Numerology Preference Pnomalies and Environmental Policymaking," Natural Field Experiments 00488, The Field Experiments Website.
  47. John A. List, 2002. "Preference Reversals of a Different Kind: The "More Is Less" Phenomenon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1636-1643, December.
  48. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
  49. List, John A. & Co, Catherine Y., 2000. "The Effects of Environmental Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-20, July.
  50. repec:feb:artefa:0102 is not listed on IDEAS
  51. John List, 2003. "Using random nth price auctions to value non-market goods and services," Framed Field Experiments 00173, The Field Experiments Website.
  52. John List, 2007. "On the Interpretation of Giving in Dictator Games," Artefactual Field Experiments 00479, The Field Experiments Website.
  53. repec:feb:framed:0081 is not listed on IDEAS
  54. David Lucking-Reiley & John A. List, 2000. "Demand Reduction in Multiunit Auctions: Evidence from a Sportscard Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 961-972, September.
  55. List, John A. & Mason, Charles F., 2001. "Optimal Institutional Arrangements for Transboundary Pollutants in a Second-Best World: Evidence from a Differential Game with Asymmetric Players," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 277-296, November.
  56. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
  57. John List, 2002. "Testing neoclassical competitive market theory in the field," Artefactual Field Experiments 00082, The Field Experiments Website.
  58. John A. List & Shelby Gerking, 2000. "Regulatory Federalism and Environmental Protection in the United States," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 453-471.
  59. repec:feb:natura:0055 is not listed on IDEAS
  60. John List & Craig Gallet, 2001. "What Experimental Protocol Influence Disparities Between Actual and Hypothetical Stated Values?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 20(3), pages 241-254, November.
  61. John List, 2008. "Informed consent in social science," Artefactual Field Experiments 00086, The Field Experiments Website.
  62. repec:feb:artefa:0089 is not listed on IDEAS
  63. Robson, Arthur J., 1996. "The Evolution of Attitudes to Risk: Lottery Tickets and Relative Wealth," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 190-207, June.
  64. John A. List & Mitch Kunce, 2000. "Environmental Protection and Economic Growth: What Do the Residuals Tell Us?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(2), pages 267-282.
  65. John List & Todd Cherry, 2000. "Learning to Accept in Ultimatum Games: Evidence from an Experimental Design that Generates Low Offers," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 3(1), pages 11-29, June.
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