Seminar on Economics: Gender differences in the influence of competitiveness on individual and partner incomes

Speaker: Prof. David Ong, Professor of Economics, Jinan University-University of Birmingham Joint Institute, Jinan University (Guangzhou)

Date:31 Jan 2024 (Wed)

Time:14:00 – 15:15

Venue: E21B-G016

Abstract: We extend prior research on gender differences in competitiveness by distinguishing the role of competitiveness on individual and partner incomes. Using a 2017-2021 representative household survey in the Netherlands, we find that competitiveness positively correlates with the present and future incomes for single and partnered women and partnered men, but not for single men. Interestingly, competitive women tend to match with higher-earning men, but the reverse pattern, where competitive men match with higher-earning women, is not observed. We employ 2017 income as a proxy for unobservable individual and couple-specific factors on 2018-2021 incomes. Regarding the individual’s own competitiveness, only single men’s competitiveness increases their future income. Remarkably, for couples, we find that it is the men’s female partner’s competitiveness, rather than their own, that significantly increases men’s future income. Men’s competitiveness does not affect their female partners’ income. Contrary to household specialization as the channel, women’s competitiveness does not increase their partner’s work hours. Our findings offer fresh insights into the influence of competitiveness on individual and household incomes.