Personal Bests and Gender
34 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2021
Date Written: October 15, 2021
We connect two large bodies of scientific inquiry. First, important theories in the social sciences establish that human preferences are reference-dependent. Second, a separate field of research documents substantial differences in preferences and attitudes across genders. Specifically, we examine the universe of officially-rated classic chess games (over 250,000 subjects and 22 million chess games). This allows us to study differences across genders both in cognitive performance (intensive margin) and in competitive participation (extensive margin) using the fact that personal bests act as reference points. We find that males and females behave very differently around their personal bests in both margins.
Keywords: Reference Dependence, Gender, Cognition, Performance, Competition.
JEL Classification: D90, J16.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation