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Gender, competition and the efficiency of policy interventions

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  • Loukas Balafoutas

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  • Matthias Sutter

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Loukas Balafoutas & Matthias Sutter, 2010. "Gender, competition and the efficiency of policy interventions," Working Papers 2010-12, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  • Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2010-12
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Yann Girard & Florian Hett, 2013. "Competitiveness in dynamic group contests: Evidence from combined field and lab data," Working Papers 1303, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, revised 01 Apr 2013.
    2. Werner Boente & Monika Jarosch, 2011. "Gender Differences in Competitiveness, Risk Tolerance, and other Personality Traits: Do they contribute to the Gender Gap in Entrepreneurship?," Schumpeter Discussion Papers sdp11012, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    3. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Anders Poulsen & Marie Claire Villeval, 2013. "Gender Matching And Competitiveness: Experimental Evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 816-835, January.
    4. Jeffrey Flory & Andreas Leibbrandt & John List, 2010. "Do Competitive Work Places Deter Female Workers? A Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment on Gender Differences in Job-Entry Decisions," Natural Field Experiments 00452, The Field Experiments Website.
    5. Balafoutas, Loukas & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Sutter, Matthias, 2012. "Distributional preferences and competitive behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 125-135.
    6. Zhang, Y. Jane, 2013. "Culture and the Gender Gap in Competitive Inclination: Evidence from the Communist Experiment in China," MPRA Paper 47356, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Cadsby, C. Bram & Servátka, Maroš & Song, Fei, 2013. "How competitive are female professionals? A tale of identity conflict," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 284-303.
    8. Anna Dreber & Emma Essen & Eva Ranehill, 2011. "Outrunning the gender gap—boys and girls compete equally," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 567-582, November.
    9. Marcela Ibanez & Gerhard Riener & Ashok Rai, 2013. "Sorting Through Affirmative Action: Two Field Experiments in Colombia," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 150, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    10. Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter, 2011. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    11. Werner Bönte & Monika Piegeler, 2013. "Gender gap in latent and nascent entrepreneurship: driven by competitiveness," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 961-987, December.
    12. Reuben, Ernesto & Rey-Biel, Pedro & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2012. "The emergence of male leadership in competitive environments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 111-117.
    13. Sutter, Matthias & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela, 2010. "Gender Differences in Competition Emerge Early in Life," IZA Discussion Papers 5015, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Competition; gender gap; experiment; affirmative action; teamwork; coordination;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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