Strategic Behavior Across Gender: A Comparison of Female and Male Expert Chess Players

41 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2010

See all articles by Christer Gerdes

Christer Gerdes

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI)

Patrik Gransmark

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI)

Abstract

This paper aims to measure differences in risk behavior among expert chess players. The study employs a panel data set on international chess with 1.4 million games recorded over a period of 11 years. The structure of the data set allows us to use individual fixed-effect estimations to control for aspects such as innate ability as well as other characteristics of the players. Most notably, the data contains an objective measure of individual playing strength, the so-called Elo rating. In line with previous research, we find that women are more risk-averse than men. A novel finding is that males choose more aggressive strategies when playing against female opponents even though such strategies reduce their winning probability.

Keywords: risk aversion, competitiveness, gender, culture, mixed-sex competition

JEL Classification: J16, J70, J71, D03

Suggested Citation

Gerdes, Christer and Gransmark, Patrik, Strategic Behavior Across Gender: A Comparison of Female and Male Expert Chess Players. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4793. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1566342

Christer Gerdes (Contact Author)

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI) ( email )

Kyrkgatan 43B
SE-106 91 Stockholm
Sweden

Patrik Gransmark

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI) ( email )

Kyrkgatan 43B
SE-106 91 Stockholm
Sweden

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