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Gender, Competition and the Efficiency of Policy Intervention

  • Balafoutas, Loukas

    (University of Innsbruck)

  • Sutter, Matthias


    (University of Innsbruck, University of Gothenburg and IZA Bonn)

Recent research has shown that women shy away from competition more often than men. We evaluate experimentally three alternative policy interventions to promote women in competitions: Quotas, Preferential Treatment, and Repetition of the Competition unless a critical number of female winners is reached. We find that Quotas and Preferential Treatment encourage women to compete significantly more often than in a control treatment, while efficiency in selecting the best candidates as winners is not worse. The level of cooperation in a post-competition teamwork task is even higher with successful policy interventions. Hence, policy measures promoting women can have a double dividend.

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Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 450.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 18 May 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0450
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
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  1. Marianne Bertrand & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001. "The Gender Gap in Top Corporate Jobs," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 3-21, October.
  2. Weber, Andrea Maria & Zulehner, Christine, 2009. "Female Hires and the Success of Start-up Firms," Ruhr Economic Papers 151, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI), Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
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  5. Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Ranehill, Eva, 2009. "Outrunning the Gender Gap – Boys and Girls Compete Equally," SIFR Research Report Series 69, Institute for Financial Research.
  6. Charness, Gary & Jackson, Matthew O., 2007. "Group play in games and the role of consent in network formation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 417-445, September.
  7. Jordi Brandts & David J. Cooper, 2006. "A Change Would Do You Good .... An Experimental Study on How to Overcome Coordination Failure in Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 669-693, June.
  8. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2010. "Explaining the Gender Gap in Math Test Scores: The Role of Competition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 129-44, Spring.
  9. Aldo Rustichini & Uri Gneezy, 2004. "Gender and competition at a young age," Framed Field Experiments 00151, The Field Experiments Website.
  10. Muriel Niederle & Carmit Segal & Lise Vesterlund, 2013. "How Costly Is Diversity? Affirmative Action in Light of Gender Differences in Competitiveness," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(1), pages 1-16, May.
  11. Uri Gneezy & Kenneth L. Leonard & John A. List, 2008. "Gender Differences in Competition: Evidence from a Matrilineal and a Patriarchal Society," NBER Working Papers 13727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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