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Essays on economic behavior, gender and strategic learning
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This doctoral thesis consists of four papers. Strategic behavior across gender: A comparison of female and male expert chess players analyzes gender differences in risk behavior in chess. We use a panel data set with 1.4 million games. Most notably, the data contains an objective measure of individual playing skill. We find that women are more risk averse and that men choose riskier strategies when playing against female opponents even though this reduces their winning probability.

Gender differences in time preference and inconsistency among expert chess players presents findings on gender differences in time preference and inconsistency in chess. Impatience is estimated by measuring preferences for game durations while inconsistency by exploiting the 40th move time control. The results reveal that men are more impatient while women are more time inconsistent. Moreover, the difference in impatience increases with expertise while the difference in inconsistency decreases.

Beauty queens and battling knights: Risk taking and attractiveness in chess explores the relationship between attractiveness and risk taking in chess. We examine whether people use riskier strategies when playing with attractive opponents and whether this affects performance. Our results suggest that male, but not female, chess players choose significantly riskier strategies when playing against an attractive female opponent, although this does not improve their performance.

Strategic Learning in Repeated Chess Games, examines if chess players in repeated games with the same opponent, learn about the opponent’s type and adapt future strategies accordingly. It also shows how matching background characteristics affect the choice of strategy. The findings show that chess players learn about the opponent’s type. Players with similar background characteristics coordinate better than players of different gender or nationality but this difference decreases as the players update their beliefs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI), Stockholm University , 2010. , 14 p.
Series
Swedish Institute for Social Research, ISSN 0283-8222 ; 83
Keyword [en]
Time preference, time inconsistency, impatience, gender, mixed-sex competition, aggressiveness, attractiveness, risk taking, chess, strategic learning, beliefs.
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-43820ISBN: 978-91-7447-171-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-43820DiVA: diva2:359573
Public defence
2010-12-07, sal G, Arrheniuslaboratorierna, Svante Arrhenius väg 20 C, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.Available from: 2010-11-15 Created: 2010-10-28 Last updated: 2010-11-23Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Strategic behavior across gender: A comparison of female and male expert chess players
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Strategic behavior across gender: A comparison of female and male expert chess players
2010 (English)In: Labour Economics, ISSN 0927-5371, Vol. 17, no 5, 766-775 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper aims to measure differences in risk behavior among expert chess players. The study employs a panel data set on international chess with 1.4 million games recorded over a period of 11 years. The structure of the data set allows us to use individual fixed-effect estimations to control for aspects such as innate ability as well as other characteristics of the players. Most notably, the data contains an objective measure of individual playing strength, the so-called Elo rating. In line with previous research, we find that women are more risk-averse than men. A novel finding is that men choose more aggressive strategies when playing against female opponents even though such strategies reduce their winning probability.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier B.V., 2010
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-42146 (URN)10.1016/j.labeco.2010.04.013 (DOI)
Available from: 2010-08-18 Created: 2010-08-18 Last updated: 2010-11-04Bibliographically approved
2. Gender Differences in Time Preference and  Inconsistency Among Expert Chess Ppalyers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gender Differences in Time Preference and  Inconsistency Among Expert Chess Ppalyers
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper presents empirical findings on gender differences in time preference and time inconsistency which are based on international chess data from 1.5 million expert games. Controls are included for age, nationality and playing strength where the latter accounts for gender differences in productivity. Impatience is measured by considering preferences for different game durations. Inconsistency is measured by exploiting the 40th move time control, where over-consumption of thinking time is inefficient. The results reveal that men are more impatient while women are more time inconsistent. Moreover, the difference in impatience increases with expertise while the difference in inconsistency decreases.

National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-44240 (URN)
Available from: 2010-11-04 Created: 2010-11-03 Last updated: 2010-11-17Bibliographically approved
3. Beaty Queens and batling Knights : Riks Taking and Attractiveness in Chess
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Beaty Queens and batling Knights : Riks Taking and Attractiveness in Chess
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this study we explore the relationship between attractiveness and risk taking in chess. We examine whether people use riskier strategies when playing with attractive opponents, whether this affects performance, and whether there are gender differences in the reaction to an attractive opponent. We use a large international panel dataset on chess competitions which includes a control for the players’ skill in chess. We combine this data with results from a large survey on an online labor market where participants were asked to rate the photos of 626 expert chess players. Our results suggest that male chess players choose significantly riskier strategies when playing against an attractive female opponent, although this does not improve their performance. Women’s strategies are not affected by the attractiveness of the opponent.

National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-44235 (URN)
Available from: 2010-11-04 Created: 2010-11-03 Last updated: 2010-11-04Bibliographically approved
4. Strategic Learning in Repeated  Chess Games
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Strategic Learning in Repeated  Chess Games
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper examines if expert chess players in repeated chess games with the same opponent learn about the opponent’s type and adapt their choice of future strategies accordingly. Additionally, it shows how matching background characteristics such as gender, age, nationality and risk preferences affect the choice of strategy. The study employs a large international panel dataset with controls for age, gender, nationality, risk preferences and playing strength whereby the latter accounts for productivity. The findings show that chess players do indeed learn about the opponent’s type and that more recent outcomes have a greater influence than earlier outcomes. Moreover, players with similar background characteristics coordinate better than players of different gender or nationality but this difference decreases as the players learn about their opponent’s type. This suggests that screening discrimination decreases when players learn about the type of the opponent.

National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-44237 (URN)
Available from: 2010-11-04 Created: 2010-11-03 Last updated: 2010-11-04Bibliographically approved

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