Gender, competition, and performance: Evidence from chess players

Peter Backus, Maria Cubel, Matej Guid, Santiago Sánchez-Pagés, Enrique López Mañas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)
133 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
Pages (from-to)349-380
Number of pages32
JournalQuantitative Economics
Issue number1
Early online date11 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2023


  • chess
  • Competition
  • D03
  • gender
  • J16
  • J24
  • J70
  • L83
  • M50

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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