The malleability of competitive preferences
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics. 2023, 104 . 10.1016/j.socec.2023.102015
Men are more competitive than women, but we do not know how stable competitive preferences are. We conduct a pre-registered data collection in the Norwegian Armed Forces, a traditionally male environment, using survey measures of competitiveness that are known to be correlated with competitive behavior in the lab. We find that there is selection into the environment but that there is still a gender difference at baseline. We further find that the competitive preferences become stronger for both women and men over a period of eight weeks. The changes are large enough to eliminate the initial gender gap if only women had been exposed to the setting.