Are there gender differences in status-ranking aversion?

Authors: Jordi Brandts, Klarita Gërxhani and Arthur Schram

Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, Vol. 84, 101485, February, 2020

ompetition involves two dimensions, rivalry for resources and social-status ranking. In our experiment we exclude the first dimension and investigate gender differences in the preference for status ranking. Participants perform a task under non-rivalry incentives. Before doing so, individuals indicate whether they prefer to do the task in an environment with social-status ranking or one without, knowing whether or not the choice will be imposed upon the whole group (as opposed to being personal) and whether the ranking will be observed by a man or a woman. We find no gender difference in mean status-ranking aversion when the ranking is personal. When the ranking is imposed, there are still no gender differences in the preferences for social ranking when the rank observer is a woman, and women are not affected by the rank observer's gender. With a male rank observer, however, men have a much stronger desire to be ranked than with a female rank observer.

This paper originally appeared as Barcelona GSE Working Paper 999