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From Micro to Macro Gender Differences: Evidence from Field Tournaments

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  • José De Sousa

    (Université Paris-Saclay)

  • Guillaume Hollard

    (Institut Polytechnique de Paris (IP Paris))

Abstract

Women are under-represented in top positions, such as Business, Politics and Science. The same under-representation occurs in chess, providing us with a unique opportunity to analyze this phenomenon. We find a macro gender gap in every country: there are fewer female than male players, especially at the top, and women have lower average rankings. One contribution of this paper is to link the macro gender gap to micro gender differences. Comparing millions of individual games, we find that women’s scores are about 2% lower than expected when playing a man rather than a woman with identical rating, age and country. Using a simple theoretical model, we explain how a small micro gap may affect women’s long-run capital formation. A small difference in outcomes generates a small difference in effort, and thus a lower future ranking. By reducing effort and increasing the probability of quitting, both effects accumulate to discourage women from competing for top positions.

Suggested Citation

  • José De Sousa & Guillaume Hollard, 2021. "From Micro to Macro Gender Differences: Evidence from Field Tournaments," Sciences Po publications 124, Sciences Po.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/5msrbb0rie9sjq3c4ejgb2v91o
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    Cited by:

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    2. Jose De Sousa, "undated". "Peer competition: Evidence from 5- to 95-year-olds," French Stata Users' Group Meetings 2022 03, Stata Users Group.

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    Keywords

    macro gender gap; micro gender differences; under-representation;
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