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Best-of-five contest: An experiment on gender differences

Shakun D. Mago and Laura Razzolini ()

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2019, vol. 162, issue C, 164-187

Abstract: Prior gender literature has focused on whether men and women differ in their willingness to enter competition. We conduct a laboratory study to examine, instead, gender differences while in competition. We analyze effort choices in a best-of-five probabilistic contest. The longer contest and the careful manipulation of the gender composition allow us to identify gender differences in competitiveness in an environment where success requires repeated interaction. We find that women exert significantly greater effort only when competing against other women, but for men the gender of the opponent is of no consequence. Our multi-battle structure also enables us to identify the psychological impact of immediate prior outcomes and the strategic impact of early round wins or losses, as well as their differential impact on genders. Across both genders, we find evidence supporting strategic momentum, but not psychological momentum. Finally, subjects who exhibit lower level of confidence and those who have higher utility of winning choose higher effort levels.

Keywords: Lottery contest; Laboratory experiment; Gender differences; Confidence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 C91 D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:162:y:2019:i:c:p:164-187