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Masters of Our Time: Impatience and Self-control in High-level Chess Games

  • Gränsmark, Patrik


    (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)

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    This paper presents empirical findings on gender differences in time preference and inconsistency based on international, high-level chess panel data with a large number of observations, including a control for ability. Due to the time constraint in chess, it is possible to study performance and choices related to time preferences. The results suggest that men play shorter games on average and pay a higher price to end the game sooner. They also perform worse in shorter game compared to women but better in longer games. Furthermore, women perform worse in time pressure (the 40th move time control). The results are consistent with the interpretation that men are more impatient (with a lower discount factor) but also more inconsistent in the sense that they tend to be too impatient. Women, on the other hand, are more inconsistent as they tend to over-consume reflection time in the beginning, leading to time pressure later.

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    Paper provided by Swedish Institute for Social Research in its series Working Paper Series with number 2/2012.

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    Length: 26 pages
    Date of creation: 07 Feb 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:sofiwp:2012_002
    Contact details of provider: Postal: SOFI, Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden
    Phone: (0)8 - 16 32 48
    Fax: (0)8 - 15 46 70
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    1. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List & Sally E. Sadoff, 2011. "Checkmate: Exploring Backward Induction among Chess Players," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 975-90, April.
    2. Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:121:y:2006:i:2:p:635-672 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Elisabet Rutstrom & Glenn Harrison & Melonie Williams & Morten Lau, 2002. "Estimating individual discount rates in denmark: A field experiment," Artefactual Field Experiments 00062, The Field Experiments Website.
    5. Stefano DellaVigna & M. Daniele Paserman, 2004. "Job Search and Impatience," NBER Working Papers 10837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Uri Benzion & Yochanan Shachmurove & Joseph Yagil, 2004. "Subjective discount functions - an experimental approach," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(5), pages 299-311.
    7. Dean Karlan & Nava Ashaf & Wesley Yin, 2004. "Tying odysseus to the mast: Evidence from a commitment savings product in the philippines," Natural Field Experiments 00206, The Field Experiments Website.
    8. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
    9. Lundborg, Petter & Stenberg, Anders, 2010. "Nature, nurture and socioeconomic policy--What can we learn from molecular genetics?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 320-330, December.
    10. Gerdes, Christer & Gränsmark, Patrik, 2010. "Strategic behavior across gender: A comparison of female and male expert chess players," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 766-775, October.
    11. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
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