Women Make Competitive Decisions on Behalf Of Others, But Not For Themselves

news 16 august feature

Psychology News

Research at the University of Regensburg and University of Exeter revealed how frequently women make competitive decisions on behalf of others, but not for themselves. The study is published in the INFORMS journal Management Science.

The Study

The researchers studied gender differences in competitive behavior by investigating tournament entry choices when a principal decides for an agent. Then, in a laboratory setting, they replicated the standard setting in which subjects decide for themselves whether to compete or when their decisions are influenced by others.

They explored other factors like the principals’ choice determinants, preferences to take risks, competitiveness, confidence in agents’ performances, etc.

The Findings

The results revealed that women shy away from competition more than men when they are deciding for themselves. However, when they are deciding for others, more women take to competitive environments—resulting in an equal representation of men and women in decision-making.

However, while gender plays an important role in labor market decisions, the lead researcher Helena Fornwagner concluded: “When making competitive decisions on behalf of others, we show that gender does not matter; neither the gender of the person deciding nor the person one is deciding for.

To Know More You May Refer To

Fornwagner, H., Pompeo, M. and Serdarevic, N. Choosing Competition on Behalf of Someone Else. Management Science, 2022; DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.2022.4413

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