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The Menstrual Cycle and Performance Feedback Alter Gender Differences in Competitive Choices

Wozniak, David and Harbaugh, William T. and Mayr, Ulrich (2009): The Menstrual Cycle and Performance Feedback Alter Gender Differences in Competitive Choices.

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Abstract

We use a within-subjects experiment with math and word tasks to show that feedback about relative performance moves high ability females towards more competitive forms of compensation such as tournaments, moves low ability men towards piece rate and group pay, and eliminates gender differences in choices. We also examine choices for females across the menstrual cycle, and find that women in the high-hormone phase are more willing to compete than women in the low phase, though somewhat less willing to compete than men. There are no significant differences between the choices of these groups after they receive relative performance feedback.

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