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Do Women Have More Shame than Men? An Experiment on Self-Assessment and the Shame of Overestimating Oneself

  • Ludwig, Sandra
  • Thoma, Carmen

We analyze how subjects' self-assessment depends on whether its accuracy is observable to others. We find that women downgrade their self-assessment given observability while men do not. Women avoid the shame they may have if others observe that they overestimated themselves. Men, however, do not seem to be similarly shame-averse. This gender difference may be due to different societal expectations: While we find that men are expected to be overconfident, women are not. Shame-aversion may explain recent findings that women shy away from competition, demanding jobs and wage negotiations, as entering these situations shows a certain confidence of one's ability.

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File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/79814/1/VfS_2013_pid_794.pdf
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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order with number 79814.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79814
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.socialpolitik.org/
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  1. Houser, Daniel & Vetter, Stefan & Winter, Joachim, 2012. "Fairness and cheating," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1645-1655.
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  8. 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.
  9. repec:lmu:muenar:19376 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  11. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Differences in the Economic Decisions of Men and Women: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  12. 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, 01.
  13. Johansson Stenman, Olof & Nordblom, Katarina, 2010. "Are Men Really More Overconfident than Women? - A Natural Field Experiment on Exam Behavior," Working Papers in Economics 461, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
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  15. Bowles, Hannah Riley & Babcock, Linda & McGinn, Kathleen L., 2005. "Constraints and Triggers: Situational Mechanics of Gender in Negotiation," Working Paper Series rwp05-051, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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