Experimental Economics

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 642–662

Pricing competition: a new laboratory measure of gender differences in the willingness to compete

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10683-015-9458-8

Cite this article as:
Ifcher, J. & Zarghamee, H. Exp Econ (2016) 19: 642. doi:10.1007/s10683-015-9458-8


Experiments have demonstrated that men are more willing to compete than women. We develop a new instrument to “price” willingness to compete. We find that men value a $2.00 winner-take-all payment significantly more (about $0.28 more) than women; and that women require a premium (about 40 %) to compete. Our new instrument is more sensitive than the traditional binary-choice instrument, and thus, enables us to identify relationships that are not identifiable using the traditional binary-choice instrument. We find that subjects who are the most willing to compete have high ability, higher GPA’s (men), and take more STEM courses (women).


Willingness-to-compete Competitiveness Gender differences Relative payoff Piece-rate equivalents 

JEL Classification

C91 J16 J24 

Supplementary material

10683_2015_9458_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (318 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 318 kb)

Copyright information

© Economic Science Association 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Santa Clara UniversitySanta ClaraUSA
  2. 2.Barnard CollegeColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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