IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/81072.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Gender differences and the effect of facing harder competition

Author

Listed:
  • John, June

Abstract

Gender differences in competition have been demonstrated in a variety of contexts, yet it remains unclear how people respond to competitors they perceive to be hard or easy, and whether gender differences exist in this response. I run an experiment in eighteen public high school classrooms to study the effect of competing in a math task against different levels of competitors. I exploit natural sorting within grade levels in Malaysian public schools to randomly assign competitors of different perceived difficulty levels. Using a standard competition measure, males are significantly more competitive than females. However, when students face harder competitors, males respond by lowering performance while the performance of females does not vary significantly by level of competition.

Suggested Citation

  • John, June, 2017. "Gender differences and the effect of facing harder competition," MPRA Paper 81072, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:81072
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/81072/1/MPRA_paper_81072.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Azmat, Ghazala & Iriberri, Nagore, 2010. "The importance of relative performance feedback information: Evidence from a natural experiment using high school students," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(7-8), pages 435-452, August.
    2. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2002. "Sex Differences and Statistical Stereotyping in Attitudes Toward Financial Risk," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-03, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    3. Günther, Christina & Ekinci, Neslihan Arslan & Schwieren, Christiane & Strobel, Martin, 2010. "Women can't jump?--An experiment on competitive attitudes and stereotype threat," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 395-401, September.
    4. Booth, Alison & Nolen, Patrick, 2012. "Choosing to compete: How different are girls and boys?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 542-555.
    5. Sidney O. C. Mwaba, 2016. "Gender Based Violence: The Zambian Situation," Studies in Social Sciences and Humanities, Research Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 4(2), pages 105-118.
    6. Olga Shurchkov, 2012. "Under Pressure: Gender Differences In Output Quality And Quantity Under Competition And Time Constraints," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(5), pages 1189-1213, October.
    7. Anna Dreber & Emma Essen & Eva Ranehill, 2014. "Gender and competition in adolescence: task matters," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(1), pages 154-172, March.
    8. Eriksson, Tor & Poulsen, Anders & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2009. "Feedback and incentives: Experimental evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 679-688, December.
    9. Thomas Buser, 2016. "The Impact of Losing in a Competition on the Willingness to Seek Further Challenges," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(12), pages 3439-3449, December.
    10. Cotton, Christopher & McIntyre, Frank & Price, Joseph, 2013. "Gender differences in repeated competition: Evidence from school math contests," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 52-66.
    11. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk, 2011. "Performance Pay and Multidimensional Sorting: Productivity, Preferences, and Gender," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 556-590, April.
    12. Cárdenas, Juan-Camilo & Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Ranehill, Eva, 2012. "Gender differences in competitiveness and risk taking: Comparing children in Colombia and Sweden," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 11-23.
    13. 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.
    14. Camelia M. Kuhnen & Agnieszka Tymula, 2012. "Feedback, Self-Esteem, and Performance in Organizations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(1), pages 94-113, January.
    15. William Harbaugh & Kate Krause & Lise Vesterlund, 2002. "Risk Attitudes of Children and Adults: Choices Over Small and Large Probability Gains and Losses," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 5(1), pages 53-84, June.
    16. David Gill & Victoria Prowse, 2014. "Gender differences and dynamics in competition: The role of luck," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5, pages 351-376, July.
    17. Muriel Niederle & Carmit Segal & Lise Vesterlund, 2013. "How Costly Is Diversity? Affirmative Action in Light of Gender Differences in Competitiveness," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(1), pages 1-16, May.
    18. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2011. "Gender and Competition," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 601-630, September.
    19. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Anders Poulsen & Marie Claire Villeval, 2013. "Gender Matching And Competitiveness: Experimental Evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 816-835, January.
    20. Thomas Buser & Muriel Niederle & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2014. "Gender, Competitiveness, and Career Choices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(3), pages 1409-1447.
    21. Evren Ors & Frédéric Palomino & Eloïc Peyrache, 2013. "Performance Gender Gap: Does Competition Matter?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(3), pages 443-499.
    22. Seda Ertac & Balazs Szentes, 2011. "The Effect of Information on Gender Differences in Competitiveness: Experimental Evidence," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1104, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
    23. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2004. "Gender and Competition at a Young Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 377-381, May.
    24. De Paola, Maria & Gioia, Francesca & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2015. "Are females scared of competing with males? Results from a field experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 117-128.
    25. Cason, Timothy N. & Masters, William A. & Sheremeta, Roman M., 2010. "Entry into winner-take-all and proportional-prize contests: An experimental study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 604-611, October.
    26. Uri Gneezy & Kenneth L. Leonard & John A. List, 2009. "Gender Differences in Competition: Evidence From a Matrilineal and a Patriarchal Society," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1637-1664, September.
    27. 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.
    28. Muriel Niederle & Alexandra H. Yestrumskas, 2008. "Gender Differences in Seeking Challenges: The Role of Institutions," NBER Working Papers 13922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. David Wozniak & William T. Harbaugh & Ulrich Mayr, 2014. "The Menstrual Cycle and Performance Feedback Alter Gender Differences in Competitive Choices," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 161-198.
    30. 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.
    31. Ingvild Almås & Alexander W. Cappelen & Kjell G. Salvanes & Erik Ø. Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2016. "What Explains the Gender Gap in College Track Dropout? Experimental and Administrative Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 296-302, May.
    32. -, 2016. "40 years of the regional gender agenda," Libros y Documentos Institucionales, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 40334 edited by Eclac.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Klege, Rebecca Afua & Visser, Martine & Barron A, Manuel F. & Clarke, Rowan P., 2021. "Competition and gender in the lab vs field: Experiments from off-grid renewable energy entrepreneurs in Rural Rwanda," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 91(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Muriel Niederle, 2014. "Gender," NBER Working Papers 20788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Carpenter, Jeffrey & Frank, Rachel & Huet-Vaughn, Emiliano, 2018. "Gender differences in interpersonal and intrapersonal competitive behavior," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 170-176.
    3. Eber, Nicolas & François, Abel & Weill, Laurent, 2021. "Gender, age, and attitude toward competition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 192(C), pages 668-690.
    4. Matthias Sutter & Daniela Glätzle-Rützler, 2015. "Gender Differences in the Willingness to Compete Emerge Early in Life and Persist," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(10), pages 2339-23354, October.
    5. Boschini, Anne & Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Muren, Astri & Ranehill, Eva, 2019. "Gender, risk preferences and willingness to compete in a random sample of the Swedish population✰," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
    6. Hoyer, Britta & van Huizen, Thomas & Keijzer, Linda & Rezaei, Sarah & Rosenkranz, Stephanie & Westbrock, Bastian, 2020. "Gender, competitiveness, and task difficulty: Evidence from the field," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    7. Flory, Jeffrey A. & Gneezy, Uri & Leonard, Kenneth L. & List, John A., 2018. "Gender, age, and competition: A disappearing gap?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 256-276.
    8. Samak, Anya C., 2013. "Is there a gender gap in preschoolers’ competitiveness? An experiment in the U.S," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 22-31.
    9. Jeworrek, Sabrina, 2019. "Gender stereotypes still in MIND: Information on relative performance and competition entry," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    10. Jordi Brandts & Valeska Groenert & Christina Rott, 2015. "The Impact of Advice on Women's and Men's Selection into Competition," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(5), pages 1018-1035, May.
    11. Silvia Saccardo & Aniela Pietrasz & Uri Gneezy, 2018. "On the Size of the Gender Difference in Competitiveness," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 64(4), pages 1541-1554, April.
    12. Sophie Clot & Marina Della Giusta & Giovanni Razzu, 2020. "Gender gaps in competition: new experimental evidence from UK," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2020-15, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    13. Cueva, Carlos & Rustichini, Aldo, 2015. "Is financial instability male-driven? Gender and cognitive skills in experimental asset markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 330-344.
    14. Aurelie Dariel & Curtis Kephart & Nikos Nikiforakis & Christina Zenker, 2017. "Emirati women do not shy away from competition: evidence from a patriarchal society in transition," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 3(2), pages 121-136, December.
    15. Khachatryan, Karen & Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Ranehill, Eva, 2015. "Gender and preferences at a young age: Evidence from Armenia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 318-332.
    16. Ou, Kai & Pan, Xiaofei, 2021. "The effect of task choice and task assignment on the gender earnings gap: An experimental study," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 136(C).
    17. Jeworrek, Sabrina, 2016. "Competition Entry and Relative Performance Feedback: The Importance of Information Disaggregated by Gender," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145859, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    18. Anna Dreber & Emma Essen & Eva Ranehill, 2014. "Gender and competition in adolescence: task matters," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(1), pages 154-172, March.
    19. Kessel, Dany & Mollerstrom, Johanna & van Veldhuizen, Roel, 2021. "Can simple advice eliminate the gender gap in willingness to compete?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 138(C).
    20. De Paola, Maria & Gioia, Francesca & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2015. "Are females scared of competing with males? Results from a field experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 117-128.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender differences; competition; gender performance; tournament; piece-rate; information;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:81072. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Joachim Winter (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.