A paper written and presented by economist and AYS doctoral candidate Urmimala Sen was awarded third prize at a global conference. The meeting was attended by experimental economists, behavioral economists and psychologists and held at Clayton State University near Atlanta in July.
Titled “Competition and Cooperation across Genders and Castes in India: An Experimental Study,” Sen’s dissertation chapter was recognized as one of the top student papers presented at the SABE/IAREP/ICABEEP 2013 Conference, which attracted scholars from 28 countries. Elsevier Scientific, the publishers of the Journal of Economic Psychology and the Journal of Socio-Economics, sponsored the prize.
Sen, for her research, used field experiments she conducted in rural India – a patriarchal culture – to test the commonly held assumption that males compete more than females.
“Competition has been looked at by scholars in all fields – labor economists, behavioral economists, social scientists – who have generally assumed that males compete more than females. It depends on the country and culture,” she says. In rural India she found that males generally did choose to compete more, no matter the caste.
“Although females chose not to compete against males, I found they were happy to compete against other females. In fact, in the field experiment they refused to cooperate with other females, but would cooperate with males. So, counter intuitively, the study shows that males compete and cooperate more.
The SABE/IAREP/ICABEEP Conference is a scholarly conference produced annually by the Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics (SABE), International Association for Research in Economic Psychology (IAREP) and International Confederation for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics and Economic Psychology (ICABEEP). To learn more about this year’s conference, go to http://www.clayton.edu/2013-sabe-iarep-icabeep-conference.