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Taste for Competition and the Gender Gap Among Young Business Professionals

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  • Ernesto Reuben
  • Paola Sapienza
  • Luigi Zingales

Abstract

Using an incentivized measure of test for competition, this paper investigates whether this taste explains subsequent gender differences in earnings and industry choice in a sample of high-ability MBA graduates. We find that “competitive” individuals earn 9% more than their less competitive counterparts do. Moreover, gender differences in taste for competition explain around 10% of the overall gender gap. We also find that competitive individuals are more likely to work in high-paying industries nine years later, which suggests that the relation between taste for competition and earnings persists in the long run. Lastly, we find that the effect of taste for competition emerges over time when MBAs and firms interact with each other.

Suggested Citation

  • Ernesto Reuben & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2015. "Taste for Competition and the Gender Gap Among Young Business Professionals," NBER Working Papers 21695, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21695
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Emmanuel Perterle & Holger A. Rau, 2017. "Gender Differences in Competitive Positions, Experimental Evidence on Job Promotion," Working Papers 2017-01, CRESE.
    2. Britta Hoyer & T.M. van Huizen & L.M. Keijzer & T. Rezaei Khavas & S. Rosenkranz & B. Westbrock, 2016. "Do talented women shy away from competition?," Working Papers 16-06, Utrecht School of Economics.
    3. repec:eee:jeborg:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:96-109 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Werner Bönte & Sandro Lombardo & Diemo Urbig, 2016. "Economics meets Psychology:Experimental and self-reported Measures of Individual Competitiveness," Schumpeter Discussion Papers SDP16006, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    5. Bonnier, Evelina & Dreber, Anna & Hederos, Karin & Sandberg, Anna, 2018. "Undressed for Success? The Effects of Half-Naked Women on Economic Behavior," Working Paper Series 6/2018, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    6. Bütikofer, Aline & Jensen, Sissel & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2018. "The Role of Parenthood on the Gender Gap among Top Earners," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 9/2018, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    7. Siddique, Abu & Vlassopoulos, Michael, 2017. "Competitive Preferences and Ethnicity: Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh," IZA Discussion Papers 10682, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Thomas (T.) Buser & Noemi Peter & Stefan Wolter, 2017. "Gender, Willingness to Compete and Career Choices Along the Whole Ability Distribution," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-081/I, Tinbergen Institute.
    9. Ramos-Toro, Diego, 2018. "Historical Conflict and Gender Disparities," MPRA Paper 85045, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Cortes, Patricia & Pan, Jessica, 2017. "Occupation and Gender," IZA Discussion Papers 10672, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. van Veldhuizen, Roel, 2017. "Gender Differences in Tournament Choices: Risk Preferences, Overconfidence or Competitiveness?," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 14, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    12. repec:kap:expeco:v:20:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10683-016-9496-x is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:ces:ifodic:v:15:y:2017:i:2:p:19337553 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Buser, Thomas & Ranehill, Eva & van Veldhuizen, Roel, 2017. "Gender differences in willingness to compete: The role of public observability," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2017-203, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    15. van Veldhuizen, Roel, 2016. "Gender differences in tournament choices: Risk preferences, overconfidence or competitiveness?," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2016-207, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    16. repec:eee:joepsy:v:63:y:2017:i:c:p:143-167 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. René Böheim & Dominik Grübl & Mario Lackner, 2017. "Gender Differences in Competitiveness," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 15(2), pages 13-17, August.
    18. Jetter, Michael & Walker, Jay K., 2016. "Gender in Jeopardy!: The Role of Opponent Gender in High-Stakes Competition," IZA Discussion Papers 9669, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:5:p:125-30 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. R. Oystein Strøm & Bert D'Espallier & Roy Mersland, 2016. "Female leaders and financial inclusion: Evidence from microfinance institutions," Working Papers CEB 16-019, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    21. Keluoharju, Matti & Knüpfer, Samuli & Tåg, Joacim, 2016. "What Prevents Female Executives from Reaching the Top?," Working Paper Series 1111, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 12 Mar 2018.
    22. repec:ces:ifodic:v:15:y:2017:i:2:p:13-17 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:5:p:115-19 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Thomas Buser & Noemi Peter & Stefan C. Wolter, 2017. "Gender, Competitiveness, and Study Choices in High School: Evidence from Switzerland," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(5), pages 125-130, May.
    25. repec:eee:inecon:v:111:y:2018:i:c:p:122-133 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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