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Can barely winning lead to losing? Evidence for a substantial gender gap in psychological momentum

Mario Lackner () and Michael Weichselbaumer

No 2021-19, Economics working papers from Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria

Abstract: We use data from professional tennis to measure the causal effect of past on current performance for women and men. Identification relies on exogenous shocks to the probability of facing a contested game, which is a previous stage of competition with strong resistance. We find fundamental gender differences: whereas men’s performance is unaffected by previously facing and winning a contested game, women experience a sizeable deterioration of performance after barely winning the previous stage. This result is linked to gender differences in psychological momentum. Detailed analysis reveals heterogeneous effects by experience, ability and contest progression.

Keywords: performance feedback; relative performance; process feedback; gender differences; psychological momentum. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J16 M52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 18 pages
Date: 2021-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gen, nep-hrm and nep-spo
Note: English
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:jku:econwp:2021-19

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