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Why Do Women Favor Same-Gender Competition? Evidence from a Choice Experiment

Norma Burow, Miriam Beblo, Denis Beninger and Melanie Schröder

No 1662, Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin from DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research

Abstract: This paper addresses the behavioral puzzle of women’s preference for competition when competitors are also women. Using a framed field experiment with 883 non-standard subjects, we show that none of the determinants of competitive behavior in general, including ability, self-confidence and risk aversion, provide a satisfying explanation for women’s substantive gender-related selection into competition. Nonetheless, women who are overconfident, i.e. over-estimate own abilities in performing a task, enter competition regardless of the gender-mix. Hence, the gender-pairing phenomenon is driven by women who correctly estimate or under-estimate own ability. We concluded that this is due to stereotypes about women’s underperformance compared to men.

Keywords: Preferences for competition; gender; group composition; self-confidence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C99 D83 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp, nep-gen and nep-lab
Date: 2017
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