Can Gender Differences in Distributional Preferences Explain Gender Gaps in Competition?

26 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2017

See all articles by Subha Mani

Subha Mani

Fordham University - Fordham College at Rose Hill; Population Studies Center; Global Labor Organization (GLO)

Utteeyo Dasgupta

Utteeyo Dasgupta; IZA; Global Labor Organization (GLO)

Smriti Sharma

Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Dayalbagh, Agra, India

Saurabh Singhal

United Nations - World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER)

Abstract

We design an experiment to examine whether egalitarian preferences, and in particular, behindness aversion as well as preference for favorable inequality affect competitive choices differently among males and females. We find that selection into competitive environments is: (a) negatively related to egalitarian preferences, with smaller negative impacts of being egalitarian on females' choice of the tournament wage scheme, and (b) negatively associated with behindness aversion and positively related to preference for favorable inequality, with significant gender differences in the impact of these distributional preferences. Once we allow for the impact of distributional preferences, behavioral, personality, and socioeconomic characteristics to vary by gender, the pure gender effect is explained away. We find that gender gaps in distributional preferences along with selected personality traits are the most relevant explanations for gender differences in willingness to compete. This is an important result as these characteristics are per se malleable and amenable to policy interventions.

Keywords: competitiveness, distributional preferences, gender differences

JEL Classification: C91, D03, D63, J16

Suggested Citation

Mani, Subha and Dasgupta, Utteeyo and Sharma, Smriti and Singhal, Saurabh, Can Gender Differences in Distributional Preferences Explain Gender Gaps in Competition?. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2940617 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2940617

Subha Mani (Contact Author)

Fordham University - Fordham College at Rose Hill ( email )

United States

Population Studies Center ( email )

3718 Locust Walk
School of Arts and Sciences
Philadelphia, PA Pennsylvania 19104-6298
United States

Global Labor Organization (GLO) ( email )

Collogne
Germany

Utteeyo Dasgupta

Utteeyo Dasgupta ( email )

113 West 60th Street
New York, NY 10023
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/view/utteeyodasgupta/home

IZA ( email )

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

Global Labor Organization (GLO) ( email )

Collogne
Germany

Smriti Sharma

Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Dayalbagh, Agra, India ( email )

Department of Accountancy & Law
Faculty of Commerce
Agra, UT Uttar Pradesh 282110
India

Saurabh Singhal

United Nations - World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER) ( email )

Katajanokanlaituri 6B
Helsinki, FIN-00160
Finland

HOME PAGE: http://www.wider.unu.edu/aboutus/people/resident-researchers/en_GB/Saurabh-Singhal/

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