No Gender Difference in Willingness to Compete When Competing Against Self

38 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2017  

Coren Apicella

Harvard Medical School

Elif Ece Demiral

George Mason University

Johanna Mollerstrom

George Mason University - Department of Economics; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Date Written: February 2017

Abstract

We report on two experiments investigating whether there is a gender difference in the willingness to compete against oneself (self-competition), similar to what is found when competing against others (other-competition). In one laboratory and one online market experiment, involving a total of 1,200 participants, we replicate the gender-gap in willingness to other-compete but find no evidence of a gender difference in the willingness to self-compete. We explore the roles of risk and confidence and suggest that these factors can account for the different findings. Finally, we document that self-competition does no worse than other-competition in terms of performance boosting.

Keywords: gender, competition, discrimination, experiment

JEL Classification: C90, C91, J16, J71

Suggested Citation

Apicella, Coren and Demiral, Elif Ece and Mollerstrom, Johanna, No Gender Difference in Willingness to Compete When Competing Against Self (February 2017). DIW Berlin Discussion Paper No. 1638. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2914220

Coren Apicella

Harvard Medical School ( email )

250 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Elif Ece Demiral

George Mason University ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

Johanna Mollerstrom (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/johannamollerstrom/

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

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