We conduct a laboratory experiment to study how advice by a more experienced and better-informed person affects an individual's entry into a real-effort tournament and the gender gap. Our experiment is motivated by the concerns raised by approaching the gender gap through affirmative action policies. Overall, advice improves the entry decision of subjects, in that forgone earnings due to wrong entry decisions go significantly down. The improvements are mainly driven by increased entry of strong-performing women, who also become more confident, and reduced entry of weak-performing men. We find that the overall gender gap persists even though it disappears among low and strong performers. The persistence is due to an emerging gender gap among intermediate performers driven by women (men) following more the advice to stay out of (enter) the tournament in this performance group.
- Gender gap in competitiveness