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Gender, Competition, & Confidence with Methodological Insights: Experimental Evidence


This dissertation is a collection of two laboratory experiments addressing leading empirical questions in behavioral responses to competition including observed gender differences and one survey paper addressing methodological concerns facing experimental economists.

In the first paper, I use a laboratory experiment to investigate the role of the gender perception of the task in tournament selection decisions. I find that while women enter the tournament at significantly lower rates than men under the male stereotype task, more women than men enter the tournament under the female stereotype task. It appears that greater female confidence and lower male confidence in the female stereotype task drives this observed difference in entry rates across tasks.

In another laboratory experiment, I investigate whether past history with an individual, specifically negative history affects behavioral responses in a tournament with the individual. Using a laboratory experiment, I find that while women respond to the negative history with increased performance in the tournament, male performance in unaffected regardless of emotional stimuli.

In the third paper, I further the discussion of payment schemes for laboratory experiments including the necessity of providing subjects with choices that are incentive compatible.

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