Many studies find a consistent gender gap in competitiveness where men are more likely to compete than women given the same level of ability. Using data from experiments with women ages 12 through 90 in matrilocal and patrilocal communities in rural Malawi, we show that this gender gap does not exist uniformly for all women nor across their whole lifetime. We first replicate three main findings from the gender and competition literature: (i) women are less likely to compete on average; and the gender gap differs by (ii) culture and by (iii) age. In a new finding, we show that the gender gap changes in a theoretically-predicted manner with motherhood status. We argue that these results, when combined, point to an overarching theory of gender and competition–one that is driven by environmental constraints that vary with age, fertility, and social structure. © 2023
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Flory, Jeffrey; Leonard, Kenneth L.; Tsaneva, Magda; and Vasilaky, Kathryn, "How social structure shapes female competition throughout her lifetime" (2023). Economics. 9.
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Published source must be acknowledged with citation:
Flory, Jeffrey, et al. "How social structure shapes female competition throughout her lifetime." Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 216 (2023): 433-456.