Women Earn Less Than Men ‘Because They Are Less Competitive’

Rob Waugh

A controversial new study has suggested that the REAL reason that women get paid less is that they are less competitive.

The ‘gender pay gap’ - where women get paid less than men across most professions - is the subject of much discussion.

But a new study has argued that it’s NOT to do with entrenched sexism in the workplace - women don’t like to compete in the same way as men.

Researchers at the University of Chicago asked 400 first-year MBA students to compete in a gambling-style game.

They could either win $4 (£2.60) for every correct answer they completed – or $16 (£10.50), but they HAD to beat everyone in their group (a riskier, but more profitable version of the game).

60% of the men opted for the more competitive version, according to Bloomberg.

The professors found that people who had opted for the more competitive version ended up earning $21,000 more than people who’d opted for the ‘safer’ one.

They argue that this ‘appetite for competition’ explains a lot of the gender pay gap – and that if you take it out of the picture, 10% of the pay gap vanishes.

The researchers write, ‘We find that “competitive” individuals earn 9% more than their less competitive counterparts do. Moreover, gender differences in taste for competition explain around 10% of the overall gender gap.

‘We also find that competitive individuals are more likely to work in high-paying industries nine years later, which suggests that the relation between taste for competition and earnings persists in the long run.’