Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Culture and the Gender Gap in Competitive Inclination: Evidence from the Communist Experiment in China

Zhang, Y. Jane (2013): Culture and the Gender Gap in Competitive Inclination: Evidence from the Communist Experiment in China.

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Abstract

Radical communist reforms propelled traditionally secluded Han Chinese women into the labor force but exempted ethnic minorities. Using an economic experiment, this study compares the gender gap in competitive inclination across three ethnic groups in one county. The Han Chinese have no statistically significant gender gap while the patrilineal Yi women are significantly less competitively inclined than Yi men and than Han Chinese women. The matrilineal Mosuo women are as competitively inclined as the Han Chinese women. The findings affirm that culture matters for competitive inclination and suggests the hypothesis that institutional changes can narrow the gender gap in competitive inclination.

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