Working Paper Series
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy
Is there a gender difference in the ability to deal with failures? Evidence from professional golf tournaments
Abstract: Recent experimental evidence suggests that women in
general are more discouraged than men by failures which potentially can
explain why women, on average, are less likely than men to reach top
positions in firms. This paper provides the first quasi-experimental
evidence from the field on this issue using data from all-female and
all-male professional golf tournaments to see if this result can be
replicated among competitive men and women. These top-performing men and
women are active in an environment with multiple rounds of competition and
the institutional set-up of the tournaments makes it possible to causally
estimate the effect of the result in one tournament on the performance in
the next. The results show that both male and female golfers respond
negatively to a failure and that their responses are virtually identical.
This finding gives support to the hypothesis that women’s difficulties in
reaching top positions in firms are caused by external rather than internal
barriers, but does of course not rule that other internal barriers may be
present for women.
Keywords: glass ceiling; failure; gender; regression discontinuity design; golf; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: C93; J16; J24; L83; (follow links to similar papers)
32 pages, September 15, 2016
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