Game, Set, and Match: Do Women and Men Perform Differently in Competitive Situations?

30 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2015  

Michael Jetter

University of Western Australia; IZA

Jay K. Walker

Old Dominion University - Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

This paper analyzes potential gender differences in competitive environments using a sample of over 100,000 professional tennis matches. We focus on two phenomena of the labor and sports economics literature: the hot-hand and clutch-player effects. First, we find strong evidence for the hot-hand (cold-hand) effect. Every additional win in the most recent ten Tour matches raises the likelihood of prevailing in the current encounter by 3.1 (males) to 3.3 percentage points (females). Second, top male and female players are excelling in Grand Slam tournaments, arguably the most important events in tennis. For men, we also find evidence for top players winning more tie-breaks at Grand Slams. Overall, we find virtually no gender differences for the hot-hand effect and only minor distinctions for the clutch-player effect.

Keywords: gender gap, competition, hot hand, clutch player, tennis

JEL Classification: J24, L83, D84

Suggested Citation

Jetter, Michael and Walker, Jay K., Game, Set, and Match: Do Women and Men Perform Differently in Competitive Situations?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8934. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2589776

Michael Jetter (Contact Author)

University of Western Australia ( email )

35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, WA Western Australia 6009
AUSTRALIA

Jay K. Walker

Old Dominion University - Economics ( email )

Norfolk, VA 23529
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.jaykwalker.com

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