DP13681 Gender Differences in Tournament Performance Over Time: Can Women Catch-Up with Men?

Author(s): Alison L Booth, Ryohei Hayashi, Eiji Yamamura
Publication Date: April 2019
Date Revised: April 2019
Keyword(s): Competition, experience, Gender, mixed-sex, peer effects, random assignment, single-sex, tournaments
JEL(s): J16, L83, M5
Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=13681

We investigate the evolution over time of gender differences in single-sex and mixed-sex tournaments, using field data from the Japanese Speedboat Racing Association (JSRA). The JSRA randomly assigned individuals into single-sex and mixed-sex races, enabling us to model learning in different environments. Our dataset comprises over one million person-race observations of men and women making their speedboat racing debut between 1997 and 2012. We find that the average debut-woman's performance (measured by lane-changing and place-in-race) improves faster than debut-men's in single-sex races, but more slowly than debut-men's in mixed-sex races. For the average male racer, the opposite is true.