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Gender at work: Productivity and incentives

  • Migheli, Matteo


This paper analyses the relationship between workers' gender and monetary incentives in an experimental setting based on a double-tournament scheme. The participants must choose between a piece-rate payment or a performance prize. The results show that women tend to shy away from competition, and are less sensitive than men to the monetary incentives of the tournament. In addition the tournament scheme induces males, but not women, to signal their ability and to select the contract which is more profitable for them.

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Paper provided by Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS in its series POLIS Working Papers with number 142.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uca:ucapdv:142
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  1. Bengtsson, Claes & Persson, Mats & Willenhag, Peter, 2005. "Gender and overconfidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 199-203, February.
  2. Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta & Kübler, Dorothea, 2011. "Gender differences in team work and team competition," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 797-808.
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  5. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
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  9. Booth, Alison L. & Nolen, Patrick J., 2009. "Choosing to Compete: How Different Are Girls and Boys?," IZA Discussion Papers 4027, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  11. 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.
  12. Kate Antonovics & Peter Arcidiacono & Randall Walsh, 2009. "The Effects of Gender Interactions in the Lab and in the Field," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 152-162, February.
  13. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," NBER Working Papers 11474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. Semykina, Anastasia & Linz, Susan J., 2007. "Gender differences in personality and earnings: Evidence from Russia," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 387-410, June.
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  17. Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Sousa-Poza, Andres A., 2007. "The effect of job satisfaction on labor turnover by gender: An analysis for Switzerland," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 895-913, December.
  18. Marie-Pierre Dargnies, 2009. "Does team competition eliminate the gender gap in entry in competitive environments ?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00367702, HAL.
  19. Joy, Lois, 2006. "Occupational differences between recent male and female college graduates," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 221-231, April.
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  21. Schwieren, Christiane & Weichselbaumer, Doris, 2010. "Does competition enhance performance or cheating? A laboratory experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 241-253, June.
  22. Thomas Buser, 2009. "The Impact of Female Sex Hormones on Competitiveness," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-082/3, Tinbergen Institute.
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  24. Newton, Da Costa Jr & Carlos, Mineto & Sergio, Da Silva, 2006. "Disposition effect and gender," MPRA Paper 1848, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  25. Rizzo, John A. & Zeckhauser, Richard J., 2007. "Pushing incomes to reference points: Why do male doctors earn more?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 514-536, July.
  26. Christopher Cotton & Frank McIntyre & Joseph Price, 2009. "Gender Differences Disappear with Exposure to Competition," Working Papers 2010-11, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  27. repec:esx:essedp:673 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Nekby, Lena & Skogman Thoursie , Peter & Vahtrik, Lars, 2007. "Gender and Self-Selection Into a Competitive Environment: Are Women More Overconfident Than Men?," Research Papers in Economics 2007:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  29. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00367702 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Rosenbloom, Joshua L. & Ash, Ronald A. & Dupont, Brandon & Coder, LeAnne, 2008. "Why are there so few women in information technology? Assessing the role of personality in career choices," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 543-554, August.
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  33. Kanazawa, Satoshi, 2005. "Is "discrimination" necessary to explain the sex gap in earnings?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 269-287, April.
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  36. 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, 09.
  37. Castillo, Marco E. & Cross, Philip J., 2008. "Of mice and men: Within gender variation in strategic behavior," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 421-432, November.
  38. 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.
  39. Vandegrift, Donald & Yavas, Abdullah, 2009. "Men, women, and competition: An experimental test of behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 554-570, October.
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