Gender Differences in Competition Emerge Early in Life
36 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2010
We study gender differences in the willingness to compete in a large-scale experiment with 1,035 children and teenagers, aged three to eighteen years. Using an easy math task for children older than eight years and a running task for the younger ones we find that boys are much more likely to enter a tournament than girls across the whole age spectrum considered here. This gender gap is observed already with three-year olds, indicating that gender differences in competitiveness emerge very early in life. The gap is robust to controlling for gender differences in risk attitudes and overconfidence.
Keywords: competition, gender gap, experiment, children, teenagers
JEL Classification: C91, D03
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation