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Raising the Bar: Causal Evidence on Gender Differences in Risk-Taking from a Natural Experiment

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Listed:
  • Böheim, René

    (University of Linz)

  • Lackner, Mario

    (University of Linz)

  • Wagner, Wilhelm

    (University of Linz)

Abstract

We analyze data from top-tier professional athletes and find that female and male athletes differ in the timing and in the extent of their reactions to a change of the rules which increased the risk of failure. Male athletes increased risk-taking in the more risky environment immediately after the changes. Female athletes, however, increased risk-taking two years after the rule change. Over time, female athletes reverted to pre-reform risk-taking levels and male athletes' continued to make more risky decisions in the new environment. We attribute our findings to gender differences in competitiveness and risk preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Böheim, René & Lackner, Mario & Wagner, Wilhelm, 2020. "Raising the Bar: Causal Evidence on Gender Differences in Risk-Taking from a Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 12946, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12946
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    competitiveness; risk-taking; gender differences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations

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