Gender differences in reactions to feedback and willingness to compete

Noemi Berlin, Marie-Pierre Dargnies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In Western societies, it is generally known that men have a greater taste for competition than women. However, the determinants of the decision to enter competitions are still not fully understood. The aim of this paper is twofold. We first evaluate how participants update their beliefs after receiving feedback informing them of whether their performance is below or above the median performance. Second, we are interested in how men and women react to this information in terms of competitive entry. Our first result is that participants, and women in particular, react more strongly to the feedback they receive than would a Bayesian agent. As far as entry into competition is concerned, below-median participants adjust their entry decision according to the competition they expect to face, while above-median participants do not. However, the behavior behind these results is quite different for men and women: women mainly react to information on their own performance, while men seem to respond more to their beliefs over the competition they will face. Moreover, most of the effect of feedback and the information regarding the level of the competition on the decision to compete seems to operate via beliefs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior & Organization
Early online date6 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Experimental economics
  • beliefs
  • performance feedback
  • gender
  • competition


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