Advice from women and men and selection into competition

Authors: Jordi Brandts and Christina Rott

Journal of Economic Psychology, Vol. 82, January, 2021

Advice processes are omnipresent in our professional and private lives. We use a laboratory experiment to study how gender and gender matching affect advice giving and how gender matching affects advice following about entry into a real-effort tournament. For advice giving we find that women are less likely than men to recommend tournament entry to advisees than are intermediate performers. Furthermore, women maximize less often the expected earnings of advisees than intermediate performers. For advice following we find that men enter the tournament significantly more often than women in the intermediate-performance group do. Gender matching does not seem to affect advice giving or following. Overall, when it is less clear what the better advice or decision is, gender differences emerge. These results are consistent with findings in other areas that document that gender differences emerge in situations that are more ambiguous.

This paper originally appeared as Barcelona School of Economics Working Paper 1007