Data Management

Gender Gap In Admission Performance Under Competitive Pressure

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Executive Summary

Do women perform worse than equally able men in stressful competitive settings? The authors ask this question for competitions with a high payoff - admissions to tuition-free selective universities. With data on an entire cohort of Czech students graduating from secondary schools and applying to universities, they show that, compared to men of similar general skills and subject-of-study preferences, women do not shy away from applying to more competitive programs and perform similarly well when competition is less intense, but perform substantially worse (are less likely to be admitted) when applying to very selective universities.

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