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The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance

No 734:
In Bloom: Gender Differences in Preferences among Adolescents

Anna Dreber (), Emma von Essen () and Eva Ranehill ()

Abstract: We look at gender differences among adolescents in Sweden in preferences for altruism, risk and competition. We find that girls are more altruistic and less risk taking than boys. No gender differences are found comparing competitive performance with non-competitive performance in either a verbal or a mathematical task. Boys and girls are also equally likely to self-select into competition in the verbal task, but boys are significantly more likely to choose to compete in math. However, this gender gap diminishes and becomes non-significant when we control for performance beliefs relative to others, indicating that some of the gender gap in our sample is not due to preferences for competition per se.

Keywords: competitiveness; risk preferences; altruism; adolescents; gender differences; experiment; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: C91; D03; J16; (follow links to similar papers)

17 pages, April 6, 2011, Revised July 12, 2012

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