nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2016‒11‒06
two papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Gender, competition and performance:Evidence from real tournaments By Peter Backus; María Cubel; Matej Guid; Santiago Sánchez-Pages; Enrique Lopez Manas
  2. Do Sports Crowd Out Books? The Impact of Intercollegiate Athletic Participation on Grades By Michael Insler; Jimmy Karam

  1. By: Peter Backus (University of Manchester& Barcelona Institute of Economics (IEB)); María Cubel (Universitat de Barcelona); Matej Guid (University of Ljubljana); Santiago Sánchez-Pages (Universitat de Barcelona); Enrique Lopez Manas (Google Developer Expert)
    Abstract: There is a growing literature looking at how men and women respond differently to competition. We contribute to this literature by studying gender differences in performance in a high-stakes and male dominated competitive environment, expert chess tournaments. Our findings show that women underperform compared to men of the same ability and that the gender composition of games drives this effect. Using within player variation in the conditionally random gender of their opponent, we find that women earn significantly worse outcomes against male opponents. We examine the mechanisms through which this effect operates by using a unique measure of within game quality of play. We find that the gender composition effect is driven by women playing worse against men, rather than by men playing better against women. The gender of the opponent does not affect a male player’s quality of play. We also find that men persist longer against women before resigning. These results suggest that the gender composition of competitions affects the behavior of both men and women in ways that are detrimental to the performance of women. Lastly, we study the effect of competitive pressure and find that players’ quality of play deteriorates when stakes increase, though we find no differential effect over the gender composition of games.
    Keywords: Competition, Gender, Stereotype threat, Chess
    JEL: D03 J16 J24 J70 L83 M50
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Michael Insler (United States Naval Academy); Jimmy Karam (United States Naval Academy)
    Abstract: We investigate the infl uence of intercollegiate athletic participation on grades using data from the U.S. Naval Academy. Athletic participation is an endogenous decision with respect to educational outcomes. To identify a causal effect, we develop an instrument via the Academy's random assignment of students into peer groups. Instrumental variables estimates reveal that sports participation reduces athletes' grades, on average, by nearly one-quarter of a letter grade. This finding has implications beyond college, as we also show that grades--not athletic participation--are most strongly associated with post-collegiate outcomes such as military tenure and promotion rates.
    Date: 2016–04

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