We investigate gender differences in competitiveness using a lab-in-the-field experiment and a subject pool consisting of Chinese adults following the design by Niederle and Vesterlund (2007). China provides an interesting environment to study since the country has promoted gender equality for a long time and the gender gap in earnings is small in cross-country comparisons. However, in many respects, China is still a patriarchal society. Our results show that women perform equally well as men in a piece-rate task and significantly better in a competitive payment environment. Despite this, men are more than twice as likely to choose a competitive environment. This gender difference cannot be explained by differences in confidence or risk preferences.
Carlsson, F., Lampi, E., Martinsson, P., & Yang, X. (2020). Replication: Do women shy away from competition? Experimental evidence from China. Journal of Economic Psychology, 81, 102312. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joep.2020.102312