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Gender and Competition: Evidence from Jumping Competitions

Listed author(s):
  • René Böheim
  • Mario Lackner

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.

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File URL: http://www.econ.jku.at/papers/2013/wp1305.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series Economics working papers with number 2013-05.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2013_05
Contact details of provider: Fax: +43 732-2468-8238
Web page: http://www.econ.jku.at/

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  1. Peggy Dwyer & James Gilkeson & John List, 2002. "Gender differences in revealed risk taking: evidence from mutual fund investors," Natural Field Experiments 00510, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Richard Paap & Frank Kleibergen, 2004. "Generalized Reduced Rank Tests using the Singular Value Decomposition," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 195, Econometric Society.
  3. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2004. "Gender and competition at a young age," Framed Field Experiments 00151, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  5. Thomas Buser & Muriel Niederle & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2012. "Gender, Competitiveness and Career Choices," NBER Working Papers 18576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Dupuy, Arnaud, 2010. "An Economic Model of the Evolution of the Gender Performance Ratio in Individual Sports," IZA Discussion Papers 4838, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Dohmen, Thomas J., 2008. "Do professionals choke under pressure?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 636-653, March.
  8. repec:esx:essedp:672 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Booth, Alison L & Nolen, Patrick, 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Behaviour: Does Nurture Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7198, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. 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).
  11. Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Ranehill, Eva, 2009. "Outrunning the Gender Gap – Boys and Girls Compete Equally," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 709, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 16 Oct 2009.
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