Gender Differences in Attitudes Towards Competition: Evidence from the Italian Scientific Qualification

25 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2015

See all articles by Maria De Paola

Maria De Paola

Università degli Studi della Calabria - Department of Economics and Statistics

Michela Ponzo

Università degli Studi della Calabria - Department of Economics and Statistics

Vincenzo Scoppa

Università degli Studi della Calabria - Department of Economics and Statistics

Abstract

We exploit a natural experiment based on the Italian promotion system for associate and full professor positions to investigate gender differences in the willingness to enter competition. Using data on about 42,000 professors and controlling for productivity and a number of individual and field characteristics, we find that females have a lower probability of applying for competition of about 4 percentage points. The determinants of this gap seem to be gender differences in risk-aversion and self-confidence and women's fear of discrimination: the lower tendency to enter competition is especially relevant for women in the lower tail of the distribution of scientific productivity and in fields in which productivity is not easily measurable; furthermore, women are less likely to apply for promotion in fields in which promotions of females in the past were rare.

Keywords: attitudes towards competition, gender gaps, risk-aversion, self-confidence, discrimination, academic promotions, natural experiment

JEL Classification: J71, M51, J45, J16, D72, D78

Suggested Citation

De Paola, Maria and Ponzo, Michela and Scoppa, Vincenzo, Gender Differences in Attitudes Towards Competition: Evidence from the Italian Scientific Qualification. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8859. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2575039

Maria De Paola (Contact Author)

Università degli Studi della Calabria - Department of Economics and Statistics ( email )

via Ponte Bucci
Arcavacata di Rende, Cosenza 87036
Italy

Michela Ponzo

Università degli Studi della Calabria - Department of Economics and Statistics ( email )

Via P. Bucci
Arcavacata di Rende (CS), 87036
Italy

Vincenzo Scoppa

Università degli Studi della Calabria - Department of Economics and Statistics ( email )

via Ponte Bucci
Arcavacata di Rende, Cosenza 87036
Italy

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