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Gender and Competition: Evidence from Jumping Competitions

  • Böheim, René

    ()

    (University of Linz)

  • Lackner, Mario

    ()

    (University of Linz)

We analyze if female athletes differ from male athletes in their competitive behavior, using data from high jump and pole vault competitions. We estimate if female athletes use risky strategies as often as male athletes and whether or not their returns to risky strategies differ. Returns to risky strategies are identified via an instrumental variable approach where we use other athletes' declarations as instruments for individual risk taking. We find that women use risky strategies less often than men, although their returns are significantly greater than men's. We also find that women's returns to risky strategies do not differ between relatively low and relatively high risk situations, whereas male athletes' returns decrease in the level of risk. Our results show considerable differences between male and female professional athletes which are likely to be a lower bound of overall gender differences in risk-taking behavior.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7243.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming: Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 2015
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7243
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  1. Dupuy Arnaud, 2010. "An Economic Model of the Evolution of the Gender Performance Ratio in Individual Sports," Research Memorandum 021, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  2. Richard Paap & Frank Kleibergen, 2004. "Generalized Reduced Rank Tests using the Singular Value Decomposition," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 195, Econometric Society.
  3. Dohmen, Thomas, 2005. "Do Professionals Choke Under Pressure?," IZA Discussion Papers 1905, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Gerdes, Christer & Gränsmark, Patrik, 2010. "Strategic behavior across gender: A comparison of female and male expert chess players," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 766-775, October.
  5. Anna Dreber & Emma Essen & Eva Ranehill, 2011. "Outrunning the gender gap—boys and girls compete equally," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 567-582, November.
  6. Thomas Buser & Muriel Niederle & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2012. "Gender, Competitiveness and Career Choices," NBER Working Papers 18576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Aldo Rustichini & Uri Gneezy, 2004. "Gender and competition at a young age," Framed Field Experiments 00151, The Field Experiments Website.
  8. Alison L. Booth & Patrick Nolen, 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Behaviour: Does Nurture Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 601, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  9. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2008. "Sex and Risk: Experimental Evidence," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-09, Monash University, Department of Economics.
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