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Sex, competitiveness, and investment in offspring: On the origin of preferences

Jeffrey Flory (), Uri Gneezy, Kenneth Leonard () and John List ()

Artefactual Field Experiments from The Field Experiments Website

Abstract: Gender differences in competitive behavior have received much attention, demonstrating a systematic gap between males' and females' tendencies to compete. Theories predict a biological factor linked to an evolutionary response to the different paths to reproductive success for men and women. Since strategies for reproductive success change over the female life-cycle, the gender gap is predicted to be largest for young adults but after menopause women should be as competitive as men. Using data drawn from two very different societies, we find strong support for this theoretical prediction: competitiveness in women is tightly linked to their biological roles in childrearing.

Date: 2012
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