In Bloom: Gender Differences in Preferences Among Adolescents

18 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2011 Last revised: 11 Jul 2012

Anna Dreber

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics

Emma von Essen

University of Aarhus - Department of Economics and Business; Stockholm University - Department of Economics

Eva Ranehill

Stockholm School of Economics

Date Written: July 11, 2012

Abstract

We look at gender differences among adolescents in Sweden in preferences for altruism, risk and competition. We find that girls are more altruistic and less risk taking than boys. No gender differences are found comparing competitive performance with non-competitive performance in either a verbal or a mathematical task. Boys and girls are also equally likely to self-select into competition in the verbal task, but boys are significantly more likely to choose to compete in math. However, this gender gap diminishes and becomes non-significant when we control for performance beliefs relative to others, indicating that some of the gender gap in our sample is not due to preferences for competition per se.

Keywords: competitiveness, risk preferences, altruism, adolescents, gender differences, experiment

JEL Classification: C91, D03, J16

Suggested Citation

Dreber, Anna and von Essen, Emma and Ranehill, Eva, In Bloom: Gender Differences in Preferences Among Adolescents (July 11, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1804278 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1804278

Anna Dreber

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 6501
Sveavagen 65
S-113 83 Stockholm
Sweden

Emma Von Essen

University of Aarhus - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Nordre Ringgade 1
DK-8000 Aarhus C, 8000
Denmark

Stockholm University - Department of Economics ( email )

S-10691 Stockholm
Sweden

Eva Ranehill (Contact Author)

Stockholm School of Economics ( email )

PO Box 6501
Stockholm, 11383
Sweden

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