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Outrunning the Gender Gap - Boys and Girls Compete Equally
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2011 (English)In: Experimental Economics, ISSN 1386-4157, E-ISSN 1573-6938, Vol. 14, no 4, 567-582 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recent studies find that women are less competitive than men. This gender difference in competitiveness has been suggested as one possible explanation for why men occupy the majority of top positions in many sectors. In this study we explore competitiveness in children, with the premise that both context and gendered stereotypes regarding the task at hand may influence competitive behavior. A related field experiment on Israeli children shows that only boys react to competition by running faster when competing in a race. We here test if there is a gender gap in running among 7-10 year old Swedish children. We also introduce two female sports, skipping rope and dancing, to see if competitiveness is task dependent. We find no gender difference in reaction to competition in any task; boys and girls compete equally. Studies in different environments with different types of tasks are thus important in order to make generalizable claims about gender differences in competitiveness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 14, no 4, 567-582 p.
Keyword [en]
Competitiveness, Gender differences, Field experiment
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-71398DOI: 10.1007/s10683-011-9282-8ISI: 000299926900008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-71398DiVA: diva2:484785
Available from: 2012-01-27 Created: 2012-01-27 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Understanding unequal outcomes: Studies on gender, social status and foreignness
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Understanding unequal outcomes: Studies on gender, social status and foreignness
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In economics there are two main domains of explanation for understanding unequal outcomes. The first considers differences in individual preferences, while the second concerns differences in how individuals are treated.

Part I of the thesis comprises four articles pertaining to the first explanation. The main focus of these articles is gender differences in preference. The behaviors studied therein are risk preferences, competitiveness, altruism and cooperativeness. The first study finds no gender differences in performance under a competitive setting, across tasks with varying gender stereotyping. In the second study we find the gender gap in choosing to compete to be present only in the mathematical and not the verbal domain among adolescents. Moreover, its presence can largely be accounted for by other factors, such as performance beliefs. The third and fourth study compares children in Colombia and Sweden. In this sample there are no gender differences in Colombia, but in Sweden boys choose to compete more than girls. In risk-aversion however we find the gender gap to be larger in Colombia. Girls compared to boys also seem to be less cooperative in Colombia, whereas we find the opposite in Sweden.

Part II comprises two articles relating to how individuals are treated by others. The first article explores how social status influences third party punishment. Punishment decisions made by male third parties in response to a norm violation are in this study found to be affected by both the social status and the gender of the judged individual. The second article investigates how transient anonymity interacts with discrimination in online markets. The results show buyer discrimination in the feedback system against male sellers with foreign-sounding names. This discrimination only occurs when sellers are anonymous; that is, if they chose not to reveal their name in their username. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Economics, Stockholm University, 2013. 177 p.
Series
Dissertations in Economics, ISSN 1404-3491 ; 2013:3
Keyword
individual preferences, discrimination, gender, status, foreignness
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-88180 (URN)978-91-7447-658-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-04-24, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-04-02 Created: 2013-03-08 Last updated: 2013-03-31Bibliographically approved

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