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An Economic Model of the Evolution of the Gender Performance Ratio in Individual Sports

  • Dupuy, Arnaud

    ()

    (LISER (CEPS/INSTEAD))

This paper shows that the gender world record ratio in four disciplines, i.e. marathon, triple jump, pole vault and 800 meters, follows an S-shape over time. It is argued that this pattern is initiated by a sudden drop in the social barrier for women to participate in these disciplines. This drop in social barrier materializes – later – by the authorization for women to participate at major events, such as the Olympic Games, in these disciplines. The paper builds a simple economic model of sector self-selection and human capital accumulation with intrinsic disutility (social barriers) to participate in some sectors. As social barriers are removed in a sector, the Gender Performance Ratio is shown to follow an S-shape over time under very basic assumptions and calibrations. Ability self-selection, measured as the difference between mean ability of women in that sector and population mean, becomes more positive after removal of the social barrier.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp4838.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4838.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 2012, 12 (1), 222-245
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4838
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  1. Lalith Munasinghe & Brendan O'Flaherty & Stephan Danninger, 2001. "Globalization and the Rate of Technological Progress: What Track and Field Records Show," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1132-1149, October.
  2. Casey B. Mulligan & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Selection, Investment, and Women's Relative Wages Over Time," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1061-1110, August.
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