IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Preferences and Biases in Educational Choices and Labor Market Expectations: Shrinking the Black Box of Gender

  • Reuben, Ernesto

    ()

    (Columbia University)

  • Wiswall, Matthew

    ()

    (Arizona State University)

  • Zafar, Basit

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

Standard observed characteristics explain only part of the differences between men and women in education choices and labor market trajectories. Using an experiment to derive students' levels of overconfidence, and preferences for competitiveness and risk, this paper investigates whether these behavioral biases and preferences explain gender differences in college major choices and expected future earnings. In a sample of high ability undergraduates, we find that competitiveness and overconfidence, but not risk aversion, is systematically related with expectations about future earnings: individuals who are overconfident and overly competitive have significantly higher earnings expectations. Moreover, gender differences in overconfidence and competitiveness explain about 18% of the gender gap in earnings expectations. These experimental measures explain as much of the gender gap in earnings expectations as a rich set of control variables, including test scores and family background, and they are poorly proxied by these same control variables, underscoring that they represent independent variation. While expected earnings are related to college major choices, the experimental measures are not related with college major choice.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp7579.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7579.

as
in new window

Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7579
Contact details of provider: Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org

Order Information: Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Email:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Christian Belzil & Marco Leonardi, 2006. "Can Risk Aversion Explain Schooling Attainments? Evidence From Italy," Post-Print halshs-00142551, HAL.
  2. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2013. "Bonus Culture: Competitive Pay, Screening, and Multitasking," NBER Working Papers 18936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin & Huffman David & Sunde Uwe, 2009. "Are Risk Aversion and Impatience Related to Cognitive Ability?," ROA Research Memorandum 007, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  4. Muriel Niederle & Carmit Segal & Lise Vesterlund, 2008. "How Costly is Diversity? Affirmative Action in Light of Gender Differences in Competitiveness," NBER Working Papers 13923, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Todd R. Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2009. "Learning about Academic Ability and the College Drop-out Decision," NBER Working Papers 14810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin, 2010. "Performance Pay and Multi-dimensional Sorting - Productivity, Preferences and Gender," ROA Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  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. Booth, Alison L & Nolen, Patrick, 2009. "Choosing to Compete: How different are girls and boys?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7214, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Dan A. Black & Amelia M. Haviland & Seth G. Sanders & Lowell J. Taylor, 2008. "Gender Wage Disparities among the Highly Educated," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(3), pages 630-659.
  10. Cason, Timothy N. & Masters, William A. & Sheremeta, Roman M., 2010. "Entry into winner-take-all and proportional-prize contests: An experimental study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 604-611, October.
  11. Matthias Benz & Stephan Meier, . "Do People Behave in Experiments as in the Field? – Evidence from Donations," IEW - Working Papers 248, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  12. Ernst Fehr & Andreas Leibbrandt, 2008. "Cooperativeness and Impatience in the Tragedy of the Commons," IEW - Working Papers 378, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  13. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2002. "Ability Sorting and the Returns to College Major," Working Papers 02-26, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  14. John List & Kenneth Leonard & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender differences in competition: Evidence from a matrilineal and a patriarchal society," Artefactual Field Experiments 00049, The Field Experiments Website.
  15. Basit Zafar, 2013. "College Major Choice and the Gender Gap," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(3), pages 545-595.
  16. Albrecht, James & Björklund, Anders & Vroman, Susan, 2001. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," IZA Discussion Papers 282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," NBER Working Papers 11474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Andrew Healy & Jennifer Pate, 2011. "Can Teams Help to Close the Gender Competition Gap?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(555), pages 1192-1204, 09.
  19. Dean Karlan & Nava Ashaf & Wesley Yin, 2004. "Tying odysseus to the mast: Evidence from a commitment savings product in the philippines," Natural Field Experiments 00206, The Field Experiments Website.
  20. Fehr, Ernst & Leibbrandt, Andreas, 2011. "A field study on cooperativeness and impatience in the Tragedy of the Commons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9), pages 1144-1155.
  21. Reuben, Ernesto & Rey-Biel, Pedro & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2010. "The Emergence of Male Leadership in Competitive Environments," IZA Discussion Papers 5300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  22. Jeffrey A. Flory & Andreas Leibbrandt & John A. List, 2010. "Do Competitive Work Places Deter Female Workers? A Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment on Gender Differences in Job-Entry Decisions," NBER Working Papers 16546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2008. "Sex and Risk: Experimental Evidence," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-09, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  24. Áureo De Paula & Gil Shapira & Petra E. Todd, 2014. "How Beliefs About Hiv Status Affect Risky Behaviors: Evidence From Malawi," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(6), pages 944-964, 09.
  25. Espen R. Moen & Asa Rosén, 2005. "Performance Pay and Adverse Selection," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(2), pages 279-298, 06.
  26. Hopfensitz, Astrid & Miquel-Florensa, Josepa, 2013. "Public Good Contributions Among Coffee Farmers in Costa Rica: Cooperativists and Private Market Participants," TSE Working Papers 13-395, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  27. Brown, Charles & Corcoran, Mary, 1997. "Sex-Based Differences in School Content and the Male-Female Wage Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 431-65, July.
  28. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Anders Poulsen & Marie Claire Villeval, 2013. "Gender matching and competitiveness: experimental evidence," Post-Print halshs-00661770, HAL.
  29. Müller, Julia & Schwieren, Christiane, 2011. "Can Personality Explain what is Underlying Women's Unwillingness to Compete?," Working Papers 0511, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
  30. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Measuring Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1329-1376, 09.
  31. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  32. 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.
  33. Kristin Kleinjans, 2008. "Do Gender Differences in Preferences for Competition Matter for Occupational Expectations?," Economics Working Papers 2008-09, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  34. Olivier Armantier & Wändi Bruine de Bruin & Giorgio Topa & Wilbert van der Klaauw & Basit Zafar, 2011. "Inflation expectations and behavior: Do survey respondents act on their beliefs?," Staff Reports 509, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  35. Matthew Wiswall & Basit Zafar, 2011. "Determinants of college major choice: identification using an information experiment," Staff Reports 500, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  36. Stephen B. Jarrell & T. D. Stanley, 2004. "Declining Bias and Gender Wage Discrimination? A Meta-Regression Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7579. 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: (Mark Fallak)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.