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An Economic Model of the Evolution of the Gender Performance Ratio in Individual Sports

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  • Dupuy Arnaud

    (METEOR)

Abstract

This paper shows that the gender world record ratio in four disciplines, i.e. marathon, triple jump, pole vault and 800 meters, follows a S-shape over time. It is argued that this pattern is initiated by a sudden drop in the social barrier for women to participate in these disciplines. This drop in social barrier materializes –later- by the authorization for women to participate at major events, such as the Olympic Games, in these disciplines. The paper builds a simple economic model of sector self-selection and human capital accumulation with intrinsic disutility (social barriers) to participate in some sectors. As social barriers are removed in a sector, the Gender Performance Ratio is shown to follow a S-shape over time under very basic assumptions and calibrations. Ability self-selection, measured as the difference between mean ability of women in that sector and population mean, becomes more positive after removal of the social barrier.

Suggested Citation

  • Dupuy Arnaud, 2010. "An Economic Model of the Evolution of the Gender Performance Ratio in Individual Sports," Research Memorandum 021, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:umamet:2010021
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lalith Munasinghe & Brendan O'Flaherty & Stephan Danninger, 2001. "Globalization and the Rate of Technological Progress: What Track and Field Records Show," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1132-1149, October.
    2. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
    3. Casey B. Mulligan & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Selection, Investment, and Women's Relative Wages Over Time," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1061-1110.
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    Cited by:

    1. Böheim, René & Lackner, Mario, 2013. "Gender and Competition: Evidence from Jumping Competitions," IZA Discussion Papers 7243, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Erik Hurst & Charles I. Jones & Peter J. Klenow, 2013. "The Allocation of Talent and U.S. Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 18693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Frick, Bernd, 2011. "Gender differences in competitiveness: Empirical evidence from professional distance running," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 389-398, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    microeconomics ;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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