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Gender and Competition: Evidence from Jumping Competitions

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  • René Böheim
  • Mario Lackner

Abstract

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 nor 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.

Suggested Citation

  • René Böheim & Mario Lackner, 2013. "Gender and Competition: Evidence from Jumping Competitions," Economics working papers 2013-05, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  • Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2013_05
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kleibergen, Frank & Paap, Richard, 2006. "Generalized reduced rank tests using the singular value decomposition," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 97-126, July.
    2. Dohmen, Thomas J., 2008. "Do professionals choke under pressure?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 636-653, March.
    3. Alison L. Booth & Patrick Nolen, 2012. "Gender differences in risk behaviour: does nurture matter?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(558), pages 56-78, February.
    4. Arnaud Dupuy, 2012. "An Economic Model of the Evolution of the Gender Performance Ratio in Individual Sports," International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 222-245, April.
    5. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
    6. Anna Dreber & Emma Essen & Eva Ranehill, 2011. "Outrunning the gender gap—boys and girls compete equally," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 567-582, November.
    7. 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.
    8. Dwyer, Peggy D. & Gilkeson, James H. & List, John A., 2002. "Gender differences in revealed risk taking: evidence from mutual fund investors," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 151-158, July.
    9. 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.
    10. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2004. "Gender and Competition at a Young Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 377-381, May.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Competitive behavior by gender: jumping to conclusions
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-04-08 19:03:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Michał Krawczyk & Maciej Wilamowski, 2015. "Are we all overconfident in the long run? Evidence from one million marathon participants," Working Papers 2015-01, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Competition; gender differences; risk preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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