Performance in Mixed-Sex and Single-Sex Tournaments: What We Can Learn from Speedboat Races in Japan

46 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2016

See all articles by Alison L. Booth

Alison L. Booth

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Eiji Yamamura

Seinan Gakuin University

Abstract

In speedboat racing in Japan, women racers participate and compete in races under the same conditions as men, and all individuals are randomly assigned to mixed-gender or single-gender groups for each race. In this paper we use a sample of over 140,000 observations of individual-level racing records provided by the Japanese Speedboat Racing Association to examine how male-dominated circumstances affect women's racing performance. We control for individual fixed-effects plus a host of other factors affecting performance (such as starting lane, fitness and weather conditions).Our estimates reveal that women's race-time is slower in mixed-gender races than in all-women races, whereas men racer's time is faster in mixed-gender races than men-only races. In mixed-gender races, male racers are found to be more 'aggressive' – as proxied by lane-changing – in spite of the risk of being penalized if they contravene the rules, whereas women follow less aggressive strategies. We find no difference in disqualifications between genders. We suggest that gender-differences in risk-attitudes and over-confidence may result in different responses to the competitive environment and penalties for rule-breaking, and that gender-identity also plays a role.

Keywords: peer effects, gender and competition, tournaments, women's labor participation, gender identity

JEL Classification: J16, L83, M5

Suggested Citation

Booth, Alison L. and Yamamura, Eiji, Performance in Mixed-Sex and Single-Sex Tournaments: What We Can Learn from Speedboat Races in Japan. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10384. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2879791

Alison L. Booth (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
+61 2 6125 3285 (Phone)
+61 2 6125 0182 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Eiji Yamamura

Seinan Gakuin University ( email )

6-2-92 Nishijin
Sawara-ku
Fukuoka 814-8511
Japan

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