Are Women More Risk Averse Than Men? Analyses With Data From Professional Tennis

9030 words - 36 pages

Sports EconomicsAre women more risk averse than men?Analyses with data from professional tennis.CONTENT11 INTRODUCTION 22 GENDER DIFFERENCES 22.1 Gender differences in risk-taking 42.2 Gender differences in competitive environments 103 THE PROFESSIONAL TENNIS SETTING 103.1 Basic concepts of tennis 113.2 Why reverting to data from professional tennis? 123.3 The professional tennis setting in economic research 143.4 Gender differences in professional tennis: exemplary analyses with focus on risk aversion 204 CONCLUSION 22ANNEX 29REFERENCES 34EIDESSTATTLICHE ERKLÄRUNG INTRODUCTIONWomen appear to have closed the gender gap in education. Around 60 per cent of all graduate degrees that were awarded in America in 2008 and 2009 were given to women. However one still observes striking inequality in terms of earnings. Interestingly enough, women are still paid less than men in equivalent job positions. Moreover, only few women reach top positions in big companies (de Vise 2010) As found in e.g. the financial decision making context, women are more risk aware and more risk averse than men. Can the gender gap in the labor market be explained by a gender difference in risk-attitudes?Paserman (2007, 2010) describes a professional tennis match on a meta-level as a competition of two players, in which large monetary rewards are involved. Parallels from the professional sports setting to the labor market are obvious: In the working place as well the HR department wants to select the most able workers only. For instance in sales, tournament-like payment structures are a widespread mechanism to award employees' for performance. With regard to the risk-taking focus of this paper, "risk and uncertainty are pervasive in economic life, playing a role in almost every important economic decision" (Dohmen et al 2005: 1). As tennis is described as an environment with large monetary rewards that is characterized by particular competitive pressure (e.g. Paserman 2007, 2010) it is to be analyzed if in the professional tennis setting as well there is evidence for a gender gap in risk taking.The paper is structured as follws. Beginning with the motivation of the topic in this introductory chapter, a selective review of relevant literature outlines important findings in the area of gender differences on risk-taking (2.1) and on competition (2.2) is given in chapter two. The third chapter starts with some basic concepts of tennis (3.1) and explains why tennis is a suitable setting for economic research (3.2). The review on studies on professional tennis (3.3) is succeeded by the analysis of research referring to gender differences in professional tennis (3.4). The paper closes with a conclusion in chapter four, which is composed by a short summary of findings, limitations of this paper and implications for further research.GENDER DIFFERENCESGender differences are a popular subject to research in various areas. This section presents a selection of relevant literature on...

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