Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/174497
Authors: 
Balafoutas, Loukas
Davis, Brent J.
Sutter, Matthias
Year of Publication: 
2017
Series/Report no.: 
Preprints of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2017/18
Abstract: 
Tournament incentives prevail in labor markets, in particular with respect to promotions. Yet, it is often unclear to competitors how many winners there will be or how many applicants compete in the tournament. While it is hard to measure how this uncertainty affects work performance and willingness to compete in the field, it can be studied in a controlled lab experiment. We present a novel experiment where subjects can compete against each other, but where the number of winners is either uncertain (i.e., unknown numbers of winners, but known probabilities) or ambiguous (unknown probabilities for different numbers of winners). We compare these two conditions with a control treatment with a known number of winners. We find that ambiguity induces a significant increase in performance of men, while we observe no change for women. Both men and women increase their willingness to enter competition with uncertainty and ambiguity, but men react slightly more than women. Overall, both effects contribute to men winning the tournament significantly more often than women under uncertainty and ambiguity. Hence, previous experiments on gender differences in competition may have measured a lower bound of differences between men and women.
Subjects: 
Gender
competition
uncertainty
ambiguity
experiment
JEL: 
C91
D03
D09
Document Type: 
Working Paper

Files in This Item:
File
Size
1.22 MB





Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.