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Gender Differences in Attitudes Towards Competition: Evidence from the Italian Scientific Qualification

Maria De Paola (), Michela Ponzo () and Vincenzo Scoppa ()

No 8859, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: We exploit a natural experiment based on the Italian promotion system for associate and full professor positions to investigate gender differences in the willingness to enter competition. Using data on about 42,000 professors and controlling for productivity and a number of individual and field characteristics, we find that females have a lower probability of applying for competition of about 4 percentage points. The determinants of this gap seem to be gender differences in risk-aversion and self-confidence and women's fear of discrimination: the lower tendency to enter competition is especially relevant for women in the lower tail of the distribution of scientific productivity and in fields in which productivity is not easily measurable; furthermore, women are less likely to apply for promotion in fields in which promotions of females in the past were rare.

Keywords: risk-aversion; gender gaps; attitudes towards competition; self-confidence; academic promotions; discrimination; natural experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J71 M51 J45 J16 D72 D78 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ltv
Date: 2015-02
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Published as 'Gender differences in the propensity to apply for promotion: evidence from the Italian Scientific Qualification' in: Oxford Economic Papers, 2017, 69 (5), 986 - 1009.

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Working Paper: GENDER DIFFERENCES IN ATTITUDES TOWARDS COMPETITION: EVIDENCE FROM THE ITALIAN SCIENTIFIC QUALIFICATION (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Gender Differences in Attitudes Towards Competition: Evidence from the Italian Scientific Qualification (2015) Downloads
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