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Gender Differences in Competition Emerge Early in Life

Matthias Sutter () and Daniela Glätzle-Rützler ()

No 5015, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: We study gender differences in the willingness to compete in a large-scale experiment with 1,035 children and teenagers, aged three to eighteen years. Using an easy math task for children older than eight years and a running task for the younger ones we find that boys are much more likely to enter a tournament than girls across the whole age spectrum considered here. This gender gap is observed already with three-year olds, indicating that gender differences in competitiveness emerge very early in life. The gap is robust to controlling for gender differences in risk attitudes and overconfidence.

Keywords: teenagers; competition; experiment; gender gap; children (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D03 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010-06
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