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Let's (not) talk about sex: The effect of information provision on gender differences in performance under competition

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  • Nagore Iriberri
  • Pedro Rey-Biel

Abstract

We study how gender differences in performance under competition are affected by the provision of information regarding rival’s gender and/or differences in relative ability. In a laboratory experiment, we use two tasks that differ regarding perceptions about which gender outperforms the other. We observe women’s underperformance only under two conditions: 1) tasks are perceived as favoring men and 2) rivals’ gender is explicitly mentioned. This result can be explained by stereotype-threat being reinforced when explicitly mentioning gender in tasks in which women already consider they are inferior. Omitting information about gender is a safe alternative to avoid women’s underperformance in competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Nagore Iriberri & Pedro Rey-Biel, 2011. "Let's (not) talk about sex: The effect of information provision on gender differences in performance under competition," Economics Working Papers 1288, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1288
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Gender, science & stereotypes
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2012-05-19 17:26:39
    2. Universities as bullies
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2013-12-12 19:47:27
    3. Patriarchy as an emergent process
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-06-04 17:40:24

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    Cited by:

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    4. Mario Daniele Amore & Orsola Garofalo & Alessandro Minichilli, 2014. "Gender Interactions Within the Family Firm," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(5), pages 1083-1097, May.
    5. Ranehill, Eva & Weber, Roberto A., 2017. "Do Gender Preference Gaps Impact Policy Outcomes?," Working Papers in Economics 713, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender differences; competition; feedback information; gender perception; stereotype-threat;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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