Causes of Gender Differences in Competition: Theory and Evidence
We use a game theoretic model of contests to assess different explanations for the male performance advantage in competition. Comparing the testable predictions of the model with the empirical evidence, we reject explanations involving male overcon- fidence, misperceptions about relative ability, and some preference differences. Ex- planations involving female underconfidence, stereotype threat, and adverse female reaction to competition are consistent with only some of the evidence, and an expla- nation involving lower male risk aversion is consistent with most of the evidence. Two explanations are consistent with all of the evidence: (i) male ability to perform may in- crease in the face of competition, possibly due to changes in testosterone or adrenaline; or (ii) males may care more about winning or get greater enjoyment from competition than females.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Forthcoming: Under Review|
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