DP10924 Competitiveness and the gender gap among young business professionals

Author(s): Ernesto Reuben, Paola Sapienza, Luigi Zingales
Publication Date: November 2015
Keyword(s): business career, gender differences, gender gap, taste for competition
JEL(s): C93, D81, D84, I21, J16
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, Financial Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=10924

Using an incentivized measure of test for competition, this paper investigates whether this taste explains subsequent gender differences in earnings and industry choice in a sample of high-ability MBA graduates. We find that “competitive” individuals earn 9% more than their less competitive counterparts do. Moreover, gender differences in taste for competition explain around 10% of the overall gender gap. We also find that competitive individuals are more likely to work in high-paying industries nine years later, which suggests that the relation between taste for competition and earnings persists in the long run. Lastly, we find that the effect of taste for competition emerges over time when MBAs and firms interact with each other.