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Understanding the Relationship Between Competitive Pressure, Performance, and Gender Through the Lens of Professional Tennis

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dc.contributor.advisor Preston, Anne Elizabeth
dc.contributor.author Krapes, Hannah
dc.date.accessioned 2019-09-01T21:48:17Z
dc.date.available 2019-09-01T21:48:17Z
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10066/21729
dc.description.abstract This study attempts to bring clarity to the mixed evidence as to whether men or women change their behavior when faced with a high-stakes competition. Using the environment of highly- anticipated professional tennis tournaments, I exploit the difference in pressure between the early stage of a given match and the final stage of a given match to observe whether men or women perform differently when an environment’s intensity is heightened. I use the observable performance metrics of aces, double faults, winners, unforced errors, and break point saves at the set level across 130 WTA, ATP, and Grand Slam tournaments from 2007-2018 to explore the relationship between gender, pressure, and performance. The study uses difference-in-differences regression analysis with both fixed effects and alternative specifications to determine if gender and/or the stakes of a given set predict performance in that set. The results reveal that women serve approximately 1/10th of a standard deviation fewer aces and have a 1/10th of a standard deviation reduction in their double fault ratio in the terminal set of a match as compared to men. Further, women serve even worse, relative to men, if they are expected to win the match, exacerbating the gender differential in performance for highability women. These performance changes indicate that women may be taking a more conservative, risk averse approach when confronting high-stakes moments, which has implications for labor market outcomes for women competing for top-tier positions. The robustness checks support these basic conclusions notwithstanding their small magnitude.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of Economics
dc.language.iso eng
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
dc.subject.lcsh Tennis -- Psychological aspects
dc.subject.lcsh Tennis -- Sex differences
dc.title Understanding the Relationship Between Competitive Pressure, Performance, and Gender Through the Lens of Professional Tennis
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Tri-College users only


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