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Journal Articles LIEPP Working Paper Year : 2021

From Micro to Macro Gender Differences: Evidence from Field Tournaments

Abstract

Women are under-represented in top positions, such as Business, Politics and Science. The same under-representation occurs in chess, providing us with a unique opportunity to analyze this phenomenon. We find a macro gender gap in every country: there are fewer female than male players, especially at the top, and women have lower average rankings. One contribution of this paper is to link the macro gender gap to micro gender differences. Comparing millions of individual games, we find that women’s scores are about 2% lower than expected when playing a man rather than a woman with identical rating, age and country. Using a simple theoretical model, we explain how a small micro gap may affect women’s long-run capital formation. A small difference in outcomes generates a small difference in effort, and thus a lower future ranking. By reducing effort and increasing the probability of quitting, both effects accumulate to discourage women from competing for top positions.
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Dates and versions

hal-03389151 , version 1 (20-10-2021)
hal-03389151 , version 2 (02-02-2023)

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José de Sousa, Guillaume Hollard. From Micro to Macro Gender Differences: Evidence from Field Tournaments. LIEPP Working Paper, 2021, 124. ⟨hal-03389151v1⟩
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