Is the gender difference in competitive behavior history dependent?

Elaine Rhee, Charles N. Noussair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study tests whether men and women differ in their willingness to challenge a competitor in response to a prior transgression. A laboratory experiment is conducted, in which a player can choose to behave unfairly toward another. The other player may then challenge the first to a contest. We investigate the extent to which previous interactions can explain individual differences in tournament initiation decisions. The results show that men, but not women, tend to challenge a competitor more when the prior outcome is unfair and the unfairness occurred through the competitor's intentional choice. In contrast, unfair outcomes that occur by chance do not influence the decision to challenge others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-67
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Competition
  • Emotions
  • Gender gap
  • History
  • Intentions
  • Unfair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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