Overconfidence, Social Groups, and Gender: Evidence from the Lab and Field

35 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2006

See all articles by Andrew Healy

Andrew Healy

Loyola Marymount University

Jennifer Pate

Loyola Marymount University; American Economic Association

Date Written: April 14, 2007


Previous research indicates that economic agents incorrectly believe that they will perform better than others in a variety of environments. This paper investigates whether a similar phenomenon exists for social groups. Students participating in a lab experiment and Scrabble players participating in a tournament revealed their beliefs about their own performances and their friends' performances. On average, the lab and field subjects both show similar levels of confidence in themselves and in their social groups. Behind these similar average levels of confidence lie some striking gender differences. In both the lab and the field, female subjects tend to show greater confidence in their groups than in themselves, while male subjects show greater confidence in themselves than in their groups.

Keywords: laboratory experiment, field experiment, overconfidence, groups, gender

JEL Classification: C90, C93, L0, J16

Suggested Citation

Healy, Andrew J. and Pate, Jennifer G, Overconfidence, Social Groups, and Gender: Evidence from the Lab and Field (April 14, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=934320 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.934320

Andrew J. Healy (Contact Author)

Loyola Marymount University ( email )

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Jennifer G Pate

Loyola Marymount University ( email )

Department of Economics
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HOME PAGE: http://myweb.lmu.edu/jpate

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