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Choking under Pressure and Gender: Evidence from Professional Tennis

Listed author(s):
  • Cohen-Zada, Danny

    ()

    (Ben Gurion University)

  • Krumer, Alex

    ()

    (University of St. Gallen)

  • Rosenboim, Mosi

    ()

    (Ben Gurion University)

  • Shapir, Offer Moshe

    ()

    (New York University Shanghai)

Registered author(s):

    We exploit a unique setting in which two professionals compete in a real-life tennis contest with high monetary rewards in order to assess how men and women respond to competitive pressure. Comparing their performance in low-stakes versus high-stakes situations, we find that men consistently choke under competitive pressure, but with regard to women the results are mixed. Furthermore, even if women show a drop in performance in the more crucial stages of the match, it is in any event about 50% smaller than that of men. These findings are robust to different specifications and estimation strategies.

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    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp10587.pdf
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    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10587.

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    Length: 46 pages
    Date of creation: Feb 2017
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10587
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    1. González-Díaz, Julio & Gossner, Olivier & Rogers, Brian W., 2012. "Performing best when it matters most: Evidence from professional tennis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 767-781.
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    3. Stepan Jurajda & Daniel Munich, 2011. "Gender Gap in Performance under Competitive Pressure: Admissions to Czech Universities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 514-518, May.
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    7. Hickman, Daniel C. & Metz, Neil E., 2015. "The impact of pressure on performance: Evidence from the PGA TOUR," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 319-330.
    8. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk, 2011. "Performance Pay and Multidimensional Sorting: Productivity, Preferences, and Gender," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 556-590, April.
    9. Olga Shurchkov, 2012. "Under Pressure: Gender Differences In Output Quality And Quantity Under Competition And Time Constraints," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(5), pages 1189-1213, October.
    10. Dohmen, Thomas J., 2008. "Do professionals choke under pressure?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 636-653, March.
    11. Jetter, Michael & Walker, Jay K., 2015. "Game, set, and match: Do women and men perform differently in competitive situations?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 96-108.
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    13. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2015. "Gender Differences in Reaction to Psychological Pressure: Evidence from Tennis Players," IZA Discussion Papers 9315, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Macpherson, David A & Hirsch, Barry T, 1995. "Wages and Gender Composition: Why Do Women's Jobs Pay Less?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(3), pages 426-471, July.
    15. Polachek, Solomon William, 1981. "Occupational Self-Selection: A Human Capital Approach to Sex Differences in Occupational Structure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 60-69, February.
    16. Dan Ariely & Uri Gneezy & George Loewenstein & Nina Mazar, 2009. "Large Stakes and Big Mistakes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 451-469.
    17. Cecilia Rouse & Claudia Goldin, 2000. "Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 715-741, September.
    18. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
    19. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101.
    20. Klaassen F. J G M & Magnus J. R., 2001. "Are Points in Tennis Independent and Identically Distributed? Evidence From a Dynamic Binary Panel Data Model," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 96, pages 500-509, June.
    21. Sandra E. Black & Philip E. Strahan, 2001. "The Division of Spoils: Rent-Sharing and Discrimination in a Regulated Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 814-831, September.
    22. Victor Lavy, 2013. "Gender Differences in Market Competitiveness in a Real Workplace: Evidence from Performance‐based Pay Tournaments among Teachers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(569), pages 540-573, 06.
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