122 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2014

See all articles by Muriel Niederle

Muriel Niederle

Stanford University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: December 2014


This paper summarizes research on gender differences in economic settings. I discuss gender differences in attitudes toward competition, altruism and the closely related issue of cooperation, and risk preferences. While gender differences in competition are large and robust, the results are much more mixed and more nuanced concerning altruism or cooperative tendencies. Surprisingly, the results are also quite mixed when concerning gender differences in risk attitudes. I discuss the external validity of laboratory results in the field. More importantly, however, I emphasize research investigating the external relevance of laboratory findings. That is, to what extent can gender differences in the aforementioned psychological attributes account for observed gender differences in economic outcomes including education and labor market outcomes as well as voting behavior.

Suggested Citation

Niederle, Muriel, Gender (December 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20788. Available at SSRN:

Muriel Niederle (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Stanford, CA 94305-6072
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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