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Psychological Momentum and Gender

Author

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  • Cohen-Zada, Danny

    (Ben Gurion University)

  • Krumer, Alex

    (University of St. Gallen)

  • Shtudiner, Ze'ev

    (Ariel University)

Abstract

We exploit a natural experiment in which two professionals compete in a one-stage contest without strategic motives and where one contestant has a clear exogenous psychological momentum advantage over the other in order to estimate the causal effect of psychological momentum on performance. We find that men's performance is significantly affected by psychological momentum, while women's is not. This result is robust to different specifications and estimation strategies. Our results are in line with evidence in the biological literature that testosterone, which is known to enhance performance of both men and women, commonly increases following victory and decreases following loss only among men. Implications of our findings for contest design are also discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Cohen-Zada, Danny & Krumer, Alex & Shtudiner, Ze'ev, 2016. "Psychological Momentum and Gender," IZA Discussion Papers 9845, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9845
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    psychological momentum; contest; gender differences; performance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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