Compete with Others? No, thanks. With Myself? Yes, Please!

19 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2019

See all articles by Coren Apicella

Coren Apicella

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Psychology

Elif Demiral

George Mason University

Johanna Mollerstrom

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

Date Written: December 3, 2019

Abstract

We study the willingness to compete against self and others in an experiment with over 650 participants, using a modified version of the Niederle and Vesterlund (2007) design. We show that introducing a possibility to self-compete, in addition to the standard other-competition option, increases the proportion of participants who compete by more than 60 percent, indicating that self-competition attracts many of those who would otherwise have stayed out of competitions altogether. This holds for both men and women. Moreover, men and women prefer self-competitions to other-competitions, especially when they have to select one of the two types of competitions. We also document that self-competitions are perceived as more controllable than other-competitions.

Keywords: competitiveness, experiment

JEL Classification: C91, D81, J16

Suggested Citation

Apicella, Coren and Demiral, Elif and Mollerstrom, Johanna, Compete with Others? No, thanks. With Myself? Yes, Please! (December 3, 2019). Economics Letters, Forthcoming, GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 19-37, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3497708 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3497708

Coren Apicella

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Psychology ( email )

3815 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6196
United States

Elif 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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