I aim to test whether the gender gap in competitive entry persists when subjects face a stated-effort task rather than a real-effort task. I develop an entry experiment with complete information common value all-pay auction corresponding to the winner-take-all real-effort tournament environment in Niederle and Vesterlund (2007). I control for the effect of risk aversion with a unique set of within-subject lottery treatments in which subjects face a randomizing computer opponent rather than a human opponent.
Experimental Design Details
The first task is a risk preference elicitation using a variation of Eckel and Grossman's (2008) gamble selection task.
The second task is the auction task which follows the tournament entry design of Niederle and Vesterlund (2007) using a stated-effort auction. In round one, participants compete against a subject opponent in a complete information two-player common value all-pay auction. In this auction, the subject with the highest effort wins and receives the prize but all efforts are sunk. In round two, participants can choose between exiting or entering the auction. If participants choose to exit, they receive a fixed endowment and continue the experiment. If participants choose to enter, they bid against a subject opponent’s already submitted bid in round one. In round three, participants compete against a uniformly randomizing computer opponent in a complete information two-player common value all-pay auction. In round four, participants can choose between exiting or entering the auction. If participants choose to exit, they receive a fixed endowment and continue the experiment. If participants choose to enter, they bid against a computer opponent.
Finally, participants go through a survey that includes gender, additional demographics, qualitative measures of competitiveness, and risk preferences following previous literature (Buser et al., 2021; Buser & Oosterbeek, 2023), and a survey on beliefs and expectations.
An overview of the experiment is given below. There are two treatments that differ in the order of the set of auction tasks.
1. Risk elicitation
2. Round 1: All-pay auction
3. Round 2: Choice between all-pay auction and fixed endowment
4. Round 3: All-pay lottery
5. Round 4: Choice between all-pay lottery and fixed endowment
1. Risk elicitation
2. Round 1: All-pay lottery
3. Round 2: Choice between all-pay lottery and fixed endowment
4. Round 3: All-pay auction
5. Round 4: Choice between all-pay auction and fixed endowment
Buser, Thomas, Niederle, Muriel, & Oosterbeek, Hessel. (2021). Can competitiveness predict
education and labor market outcomes? Evidence from incentivized choice and survey measures.
NBER Working Paper.
Buser, Thomas and Oosterbeek, Hessel, The Anatomy of Competitiveness. IZA Discussion Paper No. 16224, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4475579 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4475579
Eckel, Catherine C., & Grossman, Philip J. (2008). Forecasting risk attitudes: An experimental
study using actual and forecast gamble choices. Journal of Economic Behavior and
Organization, 68(1), 1–17.
Niederle, Muriel, & Vesterlund, Lise. (2007). Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men
Compete Too Much? The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 122(3), 1067–1101.