Taste for Competition and the Gender Gap Among Young Business Professionals
41 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2015 Last revised: 6 Nov 2015
Date Written: October 28, 2015
Using an incentivized measure of individuals’ taste for competition, this paper investigates whether this taste explains subsequent gender differences in earnings and industry choice in a sample of high-ability MBA graduates. We find that “competitive” individuals earn 9% more than their less competitive counterparts do. Moreover, gender differences in taste for competition explain around 10% of the overall gender gap. We also find that competitive individuals are more likely to work in high-paying industries nine years later, which suggests that the relation between taste for competition and earnings persists in the long run. Lastly, we find that the effect of taste for competition emerges over time when MBAs and firms interact with each other.
Keywords: gender gap, gender differences, taste for competition, competitiveness, business career
JEL Classification: J16, D81, D84, I21, C93
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