Emirati women do not shy away from competition: evidence from a patriarchal society in transition
- 248 Downloads
We explore gender attitudes towards competition in the United Arab Emirates—a traditionally patriarchal society which in recent times has adopted numerous policies to empower women and promote their role in the labor force. The experimental treatments vary whether individuals compete in single-sex or mixed-sex groups. In contrast to previous studies, women in our sample are not less willing to compete than men. In fact, once we control for individual performance, Emirati women are more likely to select into competition. Our analysis shows that neither women nor men shy away from competition, and both compete more than what would be optimal in monetary terms as the fraction of men in their group increases. We offer a detailed survey of the literature and discuss possible reasons for the lack of gender differences in our experiment.
KeywordsGender Competition Culture Institutions
JEL ClassificationC70 C91 J16 J24 J31 M52
- Al Fahim, M. A. J. (2011). From rags to riches—a story of Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi: Macarem LLC Books.Google Scholar
- Apicella, C., Demiral, E. E., & Mollerstrom, J. (2017). No gender difference in willingness to compete when competing against self. American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings (forthcoming).Google Scholar
- Bönte, W., Procher, V., & Urbig, D. (2017). Gender differences in selection into self-competition. Applied Economics Letters (forthcoming).Google Scholar
- Buser, T., Gerhards, L., & van der Weele, J. (2017b). Responsiveness to feedback as a personal trait. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty (forthcoming).Google Scholar
- Khaleej Times (2017). Gender pay gap could close 100 years earlier than predicted’. Khaleej Times (Apr. 4) Retrieved Aug. 22, 2017 from https://www.pressreader.com/uae/khaleej-times/20170404/281779923972373.
- Moghadam, V. M. (2004). Patriarchy in transition: Women and the changing family in the Middle East. Journal of Comparative Family Studies., 35(2), 137–162.Google Scholar
- Niederle, M. (2016). Gender. In J. Kagel & A. E. Roth (Eds.), The handbook of experimental economics (2nd ed.). Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Pennington, R. (2016). Working women in UAE supported by husbands, but hindered by culture, survey finds, The National, (Dec. 26). Retrieved Aug. 22, 2017 from https://www.thenational.ae/uae/working-women-in-uae-supported-by-husbands-but-hindered-by-culture-survey-finds-1.173630.
- Banerjee, R. Datta Gupta, N., & Villeval, M. C. (2017). The spillover effects of affirmative action on competitiveness and unethical behavior. European Economic Review (forthcoming).Google Scholar
- Reuben, E., Sapienza, P., & Zingales, L. (2015). Taste for competition and the gender gap among young business professionals (No. w21695). National Bureau of Economic Research (forthcoming).Google Scholar
- UAE Government. (2017). Women. Retrieved Aug. 15, 2017, from https://government.ae/en/information-and-services/social-affairs/women.
- World Economic Forum. (2016). The Global Gender Gap Report. Retrieved Aug. 22, 2017, from http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2016.
- Zhang, Y. J. (2017). Culture, institutions, and the gender gap in competitive inclination: evidence from the communist experiment in china. Economic Journal (forthcoming).Google Scholar
- Zhong, S. Shalev, I. Koh, D., Ebstein, R. P., & Chew, S. H. (2017). Competitiveness and stress. International Economic Review (forthcoming).Google Scholar