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Selection into self-improvement and competition pay: Gender, stereotypes, and earnings volatility

David Klinowski

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2019, vol. 158, issue C, 128-146

Abstract: We examine whether men and women differ in their willingness to select into a contract that pays upon improving one's past performance. Experiment participants choose to perform a task under either a regular piece rate, or a larger piece rate provided they improve relative to a previous round. Women are less willing than men to select into self-improvement pay, and this gender gap is largely explained by higher risk aversion and (to a smaller extent) lower self-confidence. High earnings volatility widens the gender gap, and makes self-improvement pay less attractive than competition pay. We find no effect of gender stereotypes in the willingness to sort into self-improvement. The results provide insight into the feasibility and potential of using self-improvement contracts as gender-neutral incentive mechanisms.

Keywords: Gender; Self-improvement; Competitiveness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 J16 J31 D02 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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