Gender Differences and Dynamics in Competition: The Role of Luck
We present experimental evidence which sheds new light on why women may be less competitive than men.� Specifically, we observe striking differences in how men and women respond to good and bad luck in a competitive environment.� Following a loss, women tend to reduce effort, and the effect is independent of the monetary value of the prize that the women failed to win.� Men, on the other hand, reduce effort only after failing to win large prizes.� Responses to previous competitve outcomes explain about 11% of the variation that we observe in women's efforts, but only about 4% of the variation in the effort of men, and differential responses to luck account for about half of the gender performance gap in our experiment.� These findings help to explain both female underperformance in environments with repeated competition and the tendency for women to select into tournaments at a lower rate than men.
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