IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp10627.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Can Gender Differences in Distributional Preferences Explain Gender Gaps in Competition?

Author

Listed:
  • Mani, Subha

    (Fordham University)

  • Dasgupta, Utteeyo

    (Wagner College)

  • Sharma, Smriti

    (Newcastle University)

  • Singhal, Saurabh

    (Lancaster University)

Abstract

We design an experiment to examine whether egalitarian preferences, and in particular, behindness aversion as well as preference for favorable inequality affect competitive choices differently among males and females. We find that selection into competitive environments is: (a) negatively related to egalitarian preferences, with smaller negative impacts of being egalitarian on females' choice of the tournament wage scheme, and (b) negatively associated with behindness aversion and positively related to preference for favorable inequality, with significant gender differences in the impact of these distributional preferences. Once we allow for the impact of distributional preferences, behavioral, personality, and socioeconomic characteristics to vary by gender, the pure gender effect is explained away. We find that gender gaps in distributional preferences along with selected personality traits are the most relevant explanations for gender differences in willingness to compete. This is an important result as these characteristics are per se malleable and amenable to policy interventions.

Suggested Citation

  • Mani, Subha & Dasgupta, Utteeyo & Sharma, Smriti & Singhal, Saurabh, 2017. "Can Gender Differences in Distributional Preferences Explain Gender Gaps in Competition?," IZA Discussion Papers 10627, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10627
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp10627.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Gill & Victoria Prowse, 2014. "Gender differences and dynamics in competition: The role of luck," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5, pages 351-376, July.
    2. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    3. Uri Gneezy & Jan Potters, 1997. "An Experiment on Risk Taking and Evaluation Periods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 631-645.
    4. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Tan, Michelle, 2011. "Noncognitive skills, occupational attainment, and relative wages," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-13, January.
    5. Steffen Andersen & Seda Ertac & Uri Gneezy & John A. List & Sandra Maximiano, 2013. "Gender, Competitiveness, and Socialization at a Young Age: Evidence From a Matrilineal and a Patriarchal Society," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1438-1443, October.
    6. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    7. Müller, Julia & Schwieren, Christiane, 2012. "Can personality explain what is underlying women’s unwillingness to compete?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 448-460.
    8. Sabrina Teyssier, 2008. "Experimental Evidence on Inequity Aversion and Self-Selection between Incentive Contracts," Post-Print halshs-00303727, HAL.
    9. James Andreoni & Lise Vesterlund, 2001. "Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 293-312.
    10. Marco Caliendo & Frank Fossen & Alexander Kritikos, 2014. "Personality characteristics and the decisions to become and stay self-employed," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 787-814, April.
    11. Bjorn Bartling & Ernst Fehr & Michel Andre Marechal & Daniel Schunk, 2009. "Egalitarianism and Competitiveness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 93-98, May.
    12. Kamas, Linda & Preston, Anne, 2015. "Can social preferences explain gender differences in economic behavior?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 525-539.
    13. Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilová & Barbara Pertold-Gebicka, 2014. "Parental background and other-regarding preferences in children," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(1), pages 24-46, March.
    14. David Gill & Victoria Prowse, 2016. "Cognitive Ability, Character Skills, and Learning to Play Equilibrium: A Level-k Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(6), pages 1619-1676.
    15. Maria Cubel & Ana Nuevo‐Chiquero & Santiago Sanchez‐Pages & Marian Vidal‐Fernandez, 2016. "Do Personality Traits Affect Productivity? Evidence from the Laboratory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(592), pages 654-681, May.
    16. Benjamin Beranek & Robin Cubitt & Simon Gächter, 2015. "Stated and revealed inequality aversion in three subject pools," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 1(1), pages 43-58, July.
    17. 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.
    18. Balafoutas, Loukas & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Sutter, Matthias, 2012. "Distributional preferences and competitive behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 125-135.
    19. William Greene, 2004. "The behaviour of the maximum likelihood estimator of limited dependent variable models in the presence of fixed effects," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 7(1), pages 98-119, June.
    20. Christoph Engel, 2011. "Dictator games: a meta study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 583-610, November.
    21. Seema Jayachandran, 2015. "The Roots of Gender Inequality in Developing Countries," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 63-88, August.
    22. Jeffrey A. Flory & Andreas Leibbrandt & John A. List, 2015. "Do Competitive Workplaces Deter Female Workers? A Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment on Job Entry Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(1), pages 122-155.
    23. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2011. "Gender and Competition," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 601-630, September.
    24. Thomas Buser & Muriel Niederle & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2014. "Gender, Competitiveness, and Career Choices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(3), pages 1409-1447.
    25. 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.
    26. Dasgupta, Utteeyo & Gangadharan, Lata & Maitra, Pushkar & Mani, Subha & Subramanian, Samyukta, 2015. "Choosing to be trained: Do behavioral traits matter?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 145-159.
    27. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2003. "Cluster-Sample Methods in Applied Econometrics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 133-138, May.
    28. Sharma, Smriti, 2015. "Gender and distributional preferences: Experimental evidence from India," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 113-123.
    29. Sharma, Smriti, 2015. "Gender and distributional preferences: Experimental evidence from India," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 113-123.
    30. Dufwenberg, Martin & Muren, Astri, 2006. "Generosity, anonymity, gender," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 42-49, September.
    31. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
    32. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri, 2012. "Strong Evidence for Gender Differences in Risk Taking," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 50-58.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Holden, Stein T. & Tilahun, Mesfin, 2020. "Endowment Effects and Loss Aversion in the Risky Investment Game," CLTS Working Papers 1/20, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Land Tenure Studies.
    2. Buser, Thomas & Ranehill, Eva & van Veldhuizen, Roel, 2021. "Gender differences in willingness to compete: The role of public observability," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
    3. Carlsson, Fredrik & Lampi, Elina & Martinsson, Peter & Yang, Xiaojun, 2020. "Replication: Do women shy away from competition? Experimental evidence from China," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    4. Brandts, Jordi & Rott, Christina, 2021. "Advice from women and men and selection into competition," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Dasgupta, Utteeyo & Mani, Subha & Sharma, Smriti & Singhal, Saurabh, 2019. "Can gender differences in distributional preferences explain gender gaps in competition?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 1-11.
    2. Muriel Niederle, 2014. "Gender," NBER Working Papers 20788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Silvia Saccardo & Aniela Pietrasz & Uri Gneezy, 2018. "On the Size of the Gender Difference in Competitiveness," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 64(4), pages 1541-1554, April.
    4. Anya Samek, 2019. "Gender Differences in Job Entry Decisions: A University-Wide Field Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(7), pages 3272-3281, July.
    5. Sophie Clot & Marina Della Giusta & Giovanni Razzu, 2020. "Gender gaps in competition: new experimental evidence from UK," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2020-15, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    6. Masclet, David & Peterle, Emmanuel & Larribeau, Sophie, 2015. "Gender differences in tournament and flat-wage schemes: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 103-115.
    7. Flory, Jeffrey A. & Gneezy, Uri & Leonard, Kenneth L. & List, John A., 2018. "Gender, age, and competition: A disappearing gap?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 256-276.
    8. Jeworrek, Sabrina, 2019. "Gender stereotypes still in MIND: Information on relative performance and competition entry," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    9. Jeworrek, Sabrina, 2016. "Competition Entry and Relative Performance Feedback: The Importance of Information Disaggregated by Gender," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145859, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Buser, Thomas & Ranehill, Eva & van Veldhuizen, Roel, 2021. "Gender differences in willingness to compete: The role of public observability," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
    11. Sutter, Matthias & Zoller, Claudia & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela, 2019. "Economic behavior of children and adolescents – A first survey of experimental economics results," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 98-121.
    12. Ingvild Almås & Alexander W. Cappelen & Kjell G. Salvanes & Erik Ø. Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2016. "Willingness to Compete: Family Matters," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(8), pages 2149-2162, August.
    13. Matthias Sutter & Daniela Glätzle-Rützler, 2015. "Gender Differences in the Willingness to Compete Emerge Early in Life and Persist," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(10), pages 2339-23354, October.
    14. Werner Bönte & Sandro Lombardo & Diemo Urbig, 2016. "Economics meets Psychology:Experimental and self-reported Measures of Individual Competitiveness," Schumpeter Discussion Papers SDP16006, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    15. Abu Siddique & Michael Vlassopoulos, 2020. "Competitive Preferences and Ethnicity: Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 130(627), pages 793-821.
    16. Loukas Balafoutas & Mongoljin Batsaikhan & Matthias Sutter, 2021. "Competitiveness of Entrepreneurs and Salaried Workers," ECONtribute Discussion Papers Series 069, University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany.
    17. Leonora Risse & Lisa Farrell & Tim R L Fry, 2018. "Personality and pay: do gender gaps in confidence explain gender gaps in wages?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 919-949.
    18. Drupp, Moritz A. & Khadjavi, Menusch & Riekhof, Marie-Catherine & Voss, Rudi, 2020. "Professional identity and the gender gap in risk-taking. Evidence from field experiments with scientists," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 418-432.
    19. Carpenter, Jeffrey & Frank, Rachel & Huet-Vaughn, Emiliano, 2018. "Gender differences in interpersonal and intrapersonal competitive behavior," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 170-176.
    20. Klege, Rebecca Afua & Visser, Martine & Barron A, Manuel F. & Clarke, Rowan P., 2021. "Competition and gender in the lab vs field: Experiments from off-grid renewable energy entrepreneurs in Rural Rwanda," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 91(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender differences; distributional preferences; competitiveness;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10627. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.