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Keywords:

  • competition;
  • gender;
  • experiment

Experimental evidence has documented that competition may enhance the performance of male subjects in some tasks when competition is imposed exogenously by the experimenter. This note describes data for a task where a simple agency relationship is established in the laboratory between two groups of agents, managers, and workers. The manager chooses from either the piece rate or tournament payment scheme for the worker. The results show that male performance decreases when the tournament is chosen for them by the manager and also suggests that the gender of the manager may be an important facet of the agency relationship. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.