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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. Aldo Rustichini & Uri Gneezy, 2004. "Gender and competition at a young age," Framed Field Experiments 00151, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Kleibergen, F.R. & Paap, R., 2003. "Generalized Reduced Rank Tests using the Singular Value Decomposition," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2003-01, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  3. Dupuy Arnaud, 2010. "An Economic Model of the Evolution of the Gender Performance Ratio in Individual Sports," ROA Research Memorandum 006, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  4. Alison L. Booth & Patrick Nolen, 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Behaviour: Does Nurture Matter?," Economics Discussion Papers 672, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  5. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  6. Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Ranehill, Eva, 2009. "Outrunning the Gender Gap – Boys and Girls Compete Equally," SIFR Research Report Series 69, Institute for Financial Research.
  7. 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.
  8. Gerdes, Christer & Gränsmark, Patrik, 2010. "Strategic Behavior across Gender: A Comparison of Female and Male Expert Chess Players," IZA Discussion Papers 4793, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Thomas J. Dohmen, 2010. "Do Professionals Choke Under Pressure?," Working Papers id:2742, eSocialSciences.
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