Competitiveness and the Gender Gap Among Young Business Professionals

43 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2015

See all articles by Ernesto Reuben

Ernesto Reuben

New York University (NYU) - New York University Abu Dhabi; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Paola Sapienza

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Luigi Zingales

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Abstract

Important gender differences in earnings and career trajectories persist. Particularly, in professions such as business. Gender differences in competitiveness have been proposed as a potential explanation. Using an incentivized measure of competitiveness, this paper investigates whether competitiveness explains future 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 competitiveness 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 competitiveness and earnings persists in the long run. Lastly, we find that the competitiveness gap in industry emerges over time when MBAs and firms interact with each other.

Keywords: gender gap, gender differences, competitiveness, business career

JEL Classification: J16, D81, D84, I21, C93

Suggested Citation

Reuben, Ernesto and Sapienza, Paola and Zingales, Luigi, Competitiveness and the Gender Gap Among Young Business Professionals. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9446, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2684276

Ernesto Reuben (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - New York University Abu Dhabi ( email )

PO Box 129188
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Paola Sapienza

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management - Department of Finance ( email )

Evanston, IL 60208
United States
847-491-7436 (Phone)
847-491-5719 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Luigi Zingales

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-3196 (Phone)
773-834-2081 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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