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Distributional Preferences and Competitive Behavior

Author

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  • Loukas Balafoutas

    ()

  • Rudolf Kerschbamer

    ()

  • Matthias Sutter

    ()

Abstract

We study experimentally the relationship between distributional preferences and competitive behavior. We find that spiteful subjects react strongest to competitive pressure and win in a tournament significantly more often than efficiency-minded and inequality averse subjects. However, when given the choice between a tournament and a piece rate scheme, efficiency-minded subjects choose the tournament most often, while spiteful and inequality averse subjects avoid it. When controlling for distributional preferences, risk attitudes and past performance, the gender gap in the willingness to compete is no longer significant, indicating that gender-related variables explain why twice as many men as women self-select into competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Loukas Balafoutas & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Matthias Sutter, 2011. "Distributional Preferences and Competitive Behavior," Working Papers 2011-04, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  • Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2011-04
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Competition; distributional preferences; gender gap;

    JEL classification:

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

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