Gender Differences and Dynamics in Competition: The Role of Luck

27 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2010 Last revised: 19 Sep 2013

See all articles by David Gill

David Gill

Purdue University, Department of Economics

Victoria L. Prowse

Purdue University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 17, 2012

Abstract

In a real effort experiment with repeated competition we find striking differences in how the work effort of men and women responds to previous wins and losses. For women losing per se is detrimental to productivity, but for men a loss impacts negatively on productivity only when the prize at stake is big enough. Responses to luck are more persistent and explain more of the variation in behavior for women, and account for about half of the gender performance gap in our experiment. Our findings shed new light on why women may be less inclined to pursue competition-intensive careers.

Keywords: Labor market outcomes, Gender gap, Experiment, Real effort, Career development, Competition, Productivity, Relative performance evaluation, Tournament, Luck, Wining, Losing

JEL Classification: C91, D03, J16

Suggested Citation

Gill, David and Prowse, Victoria L., Gender Differences and Dynamics in Competition: The Role of Luck (September 17, 2012). Quantitative Economics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1632938 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1632938

David Gill (Contact Author)

Purdue University, Department of Economics ( email )

610 Purdue Mall
West Lafayette, IN 47907
United States

Victoria L. Prowse

Purdue University - Department of Economics ( email )

West Lafayette, IN 47907-1310
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstra├če 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

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