Women Do Not Play Their Aces: The Consequences of Shying Away

31 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2016

See all articles by Jörg Claussen

Jörg Claussen

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich - Faculty of Business Administration (Munich School of Management); Copenhagen Business School - Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics

Eszter Czibor

University of Chicago

Mirjam van Praag

University of Amsterdam - Department of Economics; Copenhagen Business School; Tinbergen Institute; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

The underrepresentation of women at the top of hierarchies is often explained by gender differences in preferences. We find support for this claim by analyzing a large dataset from an online card game community, a stylized yet natural setting characterized by self-selection into an uncertain, competitive and male-dominated environment. We observe gender differences in playing behavior consistent with women being more averse towards risk and competition. Moreover, we demonstrate how "shying away" makes female players less successful: despite no gender gap in playing skills, women accumulate lower scores than men due to their relative avoidance of risky and competitive situations.

Keywords: gender, preferences, risk, competition, performance

JEL Classification: D03, J24, M52

Suggested Citation

Claussen, Jörg and Czibor, Eszter and van Praag, Mirjam, Women Do Not Play Their Aces: The Consequences of Shying Away. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9612. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2713033

Jörg Claussen (Contact Author)

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich - Faculty of Business Administration (Munich School of Management) ( email )

Kaulbachstr. 45
Munich, DE 80539
Germany

Copenhagen Business School - Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics ( email )

Kilevej 14A
Frederiksberg, 2000
Denmark

Eszter Czibor

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Mirjam Van Praag

University of Amsterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands
+31 20 525 4096 (Phone)
+31 20 525 4182 (Fax)

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Kilevej 14A
Frederiksberg, 2000
Denmark

Tinbergen Institute

Gustav Mahlerlaan
Amsterdam
Netherlands

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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