Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/89943
Authors: 
De Paola, Maria
Gioia, Francesca
Scoppa, Vincenzo
Year of Publication: 
2013
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Paper 7799
Abstract: 
We conducted a field experiment involving 720 Italian undergraduate students to investigate the existence of gender differences in performance in competitive settings and whether performance is affected by one's opponent gender. The experimental design was aimed at disentangling gender differences in taste for competition from other differences in psychological attitudes, such as self-confidence and risk aversion. Students were invited to undertake a midterm exam under a tournament scheme having as a prize some bonus points to add to the final grade. Students competed in pairs of equal predicted ability but different gender composition. We find that females are as likely as males to take part in the competition and to obtain a good performance. The gender of one's competitor does not play any role in shaping students' behavior. Men and women perform similarly both in the competitive and in the non-competitive environment.
Subjects: 
gender differences
attitude toward competition
psychological differences
tournaments
field experiment
student achievements
JEL: 
J16
J24
J70
C93
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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