Gender matching and competitiveness: Experimental evidence

Nabanita Datta Gupta, Anders Poulsen, Marie Claire Villeval

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Citations (Scopus)


This paper experimentally investigates if and how people's competitiveness depends on their own gender and on the gender of people with whom they interact. Participants are given information about the gender of the co-participant they are matched with, they then choose between a tournament or a piece rate payment scheme, and finally perform a real task. As already observed in the literature, we find that significantly more men than women choose the tournament. The gender of the co-participant directly influences men's choices (men compete less against other men than against women), but only when the gender information is made sufficiently salient. A higher predicted competitiveness of women induces more competition. Giving stronger tournament incentives, or allowing the participants to choose the gender of their co-participant, increases women's willingness to compete, but does not close the gender gap in competitiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)816-835
Number of pages20
JournalEconomic Inquiry
Issue number1
Early online date26 Apr 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

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