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Raising the Bar: Causal evidence on gender differences in risk-taking from a natural experiment

René Böheim, Mario Lackner () and Wilhelm Wagner

No 2020-01, Economics working papers from Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria

Abstract: We analyze data from top-tier professional athletes and find that female and male athletes differ in the timing and in the extent of their reactions to a change of the rules which increased the risk of failure. Male athletes increased risk-taking in the more risky environment immediately after the changes. Female athletes, however, increased risk-taking two years after the rule change. Over time, female athletes reverted to pre-reform risk-taking levels and male athletes' continued to make more risky decisions in the new environment. We attribute our findings to gender differences in competitiveness and risk preferences.

Keywords: Competitiveness; risk-taking; gender di erences (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J16 J44 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gen and nep-spo
Note: English
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