Bidding for the Better Jobs: An Experiment on Gender Differences in Competitiveness without a Real-Effort Task

26 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2020

See all articles by Andrej Angelovski

Andrej Angelovski

Middlesex University

Jordi Brandts

Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC) Barcelona

Werner Güth

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; Luiss Guido Carli University

Date Written: June 17, 2020

Abstract

We model the competitive striving for high-level positions in firms by letting experimental participants compete in bidding for prizes of different sizes in a hierarchy. Our set-up includes both a flat hierarchy and a steep hierarchy. We mainly focus on whether men and women behave differently with respect to bidding for higher and lower positions, but also consider other possible sources of heterogeneity in behavior. On average, women bid higher than men, but not significantly so, except for the top position of the flat hierarchy. For lower positions, bids are generally close to optimal bidding whereas they are relatively lower for higher positions. Women do win the top positions significantly more often, but there are no significant gender differences in earnings, the difference between prizes and bids. Our results suggest that the strong gender differences in attitudes towards competition that were found in numerous previous studies based on competition in tournaments with real-effort tasks may be specific to that environment. An implication of our results thus is that a particular phenomenon should be studied using more than one experimental design.

JEL Classification: C91, J16

Suggested Citation

Angelovski, Andrej and Brandts, Jordi and Güth, Werner, Bidding for the Better Jobs: An Experiment on Gender Differences in Competitiveness without a Real-Effort Task (June 17, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3629268 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3629268

Andrej Angelovski (Contact Author)

Middlesex University ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Jordi Brandts

Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC) Barcelona ( email )

UAB Campus
E-08193 Bellaterra
Spain

Werner Güth

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

Luiss Guido Carli University ( email )

Via O. Tommasini 1
Rome, Roma 00100
Italy

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