Choking Under Pressure and Gender: Evidence from Professional Tennis

46 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2017  

Danny Cohen-Zada

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Economics

Alex Krumer

University of St. Gallen

Mosi Rosenboim

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Offer Moshe Shapir

New York University (NYU) - NYU Shanghai

Abstract

We exploit a unique setting in which two professionals compete in a real-life tennis contest with high monetary rewards in order to assess how men and women respond to competitive pressure. Comparing their performance in low-stakes versus high-stakes situations, we find that men consistently choke under competitive pressure, but with regard to women the results are mixed. Furthermore, even if women show a drop in performance in the more crucial stages of the match, it is in any event about 50% smaller than that of men. These findings are robust to different specifications and estimation strategies.

Keywords: gender, performance, competitive pressure, tennis, choking

JEL Classification: J16, J24

Suggested Citation

Cohen-Zada, Danny and Krumer, Alex and Rosenboim, Mosi and Shapir, Offer Moshe, Choking Under Pressure and Gender: Evidence from Professional Tennis. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10587. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2923673

Danny Cohen-Zada (Contact Author)

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Economics ( email )

Beer-Sheva 84105
Israel

Alex Krumer

University of St. Gallen ( email )

St. Gallen
Switzerland

Mosi Rosenboim

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev ( email )

1 Ben-Gurion Blvd
Beer-Sheva, 84105
Israel

Offer Moshe Shapir

New York University (NYU) - NYU Shanghai ( email )

1555 Century Ave
Shanghai, 200122
China

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