Gender, competition and performance: evidence from chess players

Peter Backus, M Cubel, Matej Guid, Santiago Sanchez-Pages, Enrique Lopez-Manas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Downloads (Pure)


This paper studies gender differences in performance in a male-dominated competitive environment; chess tournaments. We find that the gender composition of chess games affects the behaviors of both men and women in ways that worsen the outcomes for women. Using a unique measure of within-game quality of play, we show that women make more mistakes when playing against men. Men, however, play equally well against male and female opponents. We also find that men persist longer before losing to women. Our results shed some light on the behavioral changes that lead to differential outcomes when the gender composition of competitions varies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalQuantitative Economics
Publication statusAcceptance date - 5 Apr 2022


  • Competition
  • Gender
  • chess

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Gender, competition and performance: evidence from chess players'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this