The Origins of Gender Differences in Competitiveness and Earnings Expectations: Causal Evidence from a Mentoring Intervention

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2021-093/I

36 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2021

See all articles by Teodora Boneva

Teodora Boneva

University College London - Department of Economics

Thomas Buser

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Economics (ASE)

Armin Falk

University of Bonn - Economic Science Area; briq - Institute on Behavior & Inequality

Fabian Kosse

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 19, 2021

Abstract

We present evidence on the role of the social environment for the development of gender differences in competitiveness and earnings expectations. First, we document that the gender gap in competitiveness and earnings expectations is more pronounced among adolescents with low socioeconomic status (SES). We further document that there is a positive association between the competitiveness of mothers and their daughters, but not between the competitiveness of mothers and their sons. Second, we show that a randomized mentoring intervention that exposes low-SES children to predominantly female role models causally affects girls' willingness to compete and narrows both the gender gap in competitiveness as well as the gender gap in earnings expectations. Together, the results highlight the importance of the social environment in shaping willingness to compete and earnings expectations at a young age.

Keywords: competitiveness, gender, socioeconomic status, inequality, earnings expectations

JEL Classification: D9, J16, J24

Suggested Citation

Boneva, Teodora and Buser, Thomas and Falk, Armin and Kosse, Fabian, The Origins of Gender Differences in Competitiveness and Earnings Expectations: Causal Evidence from a Mentoring Intervention (October 19, 2021). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2021-093/I, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3951896 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3951896

Teodora Boneva

University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

Drayton House
30 Gordon Street
London, WC1H 0AX
United Kingdom

Thomas Buser (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Economics (ASE) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, North Holland 1018 WB
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/thomasbuser/

Armin Falk

University of Bonn - Economic Science Area ( email )

briq - Institute on Behavior & Inequality

Schaumburg-Lippe-Stra├če 5-9
Bonn, 53113
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.briq-institute.org/

Fabian Kosse

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) ( email )

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, DE Bavaria 80539
Germany

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