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How Stress Affects Performance and Competitiveness across Gender

Jana Cahlikova, Lubomir Cingl () and Ian Levely

Working Papers from Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance

Abstract: Since many key career events, such as exams and interviews, involve competition and stress, gender differences in response to these factors could help to explain the labor-market gender gaps. In a laboratory experiment, we manipulate psychosocial stress using the Trier Social Stress Test, and conï¬ rm that this is effective by measuring salivary cortisol. Subjects perform a realeffort task under both tournament and piece-rate incentives and we elicit willingness to compete. We ï¬ nd that women under heightened stress do worse than women in the control group when compensated with tournament incentives, while there is no treatment difference for performance under piece-rate incentives. For males, stress does not affect output under competition. We also ï¬ nd that stress decreases willingness to compete overall, and for women, this is related to performance. These results help to explain previous ï¬ ndings on gender differences in performance under competition both in and out of the lab.

Keywords: competitiveness; performance in tournaments; psychosocial stress; gender gap (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D03 J16 J33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 71 pages
Date: 2017-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-cse, nep-exp, nep-gen and nep-hrm
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (6) Track citations by RSS feed

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http://www.tax.mpg.de/RePEc/mpi/wpaper/TAX-MPG-RPS-2017-01.pdf Full text (original version) (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: How Stress Affects Performance and Competitiveness Across Gender (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: How Stress Affects Performance and Competitiveness across Gender (2017) Downloads
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