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Choices About Competition: Differences by gender and hormonal fluctuations, and the role of relative performance feedback

  • Wozniak, David

Economic experiments have shown that when given the choice between piece-rate and winner-take-all tournament style compensation, women are more reluctant than men to choose tournaments. These gender difference experiments have all relied on a similar framework where subjects were not informed of their relative abilities as compared to other potential competitors. I replicate these previous findings and then I show that giving feedback about past relative performance moves high ability females towards more competitive compensation schemes, moves low ability men towards less competitive compensation schemes such as piece-rate and group pay, and removes the gender difference in compensation choices. I then examine between and within-subjects differences in choices for females, across the menstrual cycle. I find that, before receiving relative performance feedback, women in the low-hormone phase of their cycle are less likely to enter tournaments than women in the high-hormone phase. Men are more likely to choose tournaments than females at either stage. There are no significant selection differences between any of these groups after they receive relative performance feedback.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/31374/2/MPRA_paper_31374.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 21097.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:21097
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  1. Borghans, Lex & Golsteyn, Bart H.H. & Heckman, James J. & Meijers, Huub, 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Ambiguity Aversion," IZA Discussion Papers 3985, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  9. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101.
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  11. Pearson, Matthew & Schipper, Burkhard C., 2013. "Menstrual cycle and competitive bidding," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 1-20.
  12. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance in Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074.
  13. Muriel Niederle & Carmit Segal & Lise Vesterlund, 2008. "How Costly is Diversity? Affirmative Action in Light of Gender Differences in Competitiveness," NBER Working Papers 13923, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. repec:pit:wpaper:342 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Polachek, Solomon William, 1981. "Occupational Self-Selection: A Human Capital Approach to Sex Differences in Occupational Structure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 60-69, February.
  19. Matsushita, Raul & Baldo, Dinorá & Martin, Bruna & Da Silva, Sergio, 2007. "The biological basis of expected utility anomalies," MPRA Paper 4520, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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