PerspectiveEconomics

Ready, Steady, Compete

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Science  03 Feb 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6068, pp. 544-545
DOI: 10.1126/science.1218000

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Summary

The educational attainments of women exceed those of men in most developed countries, yet women continue to lag behind in access to top corporate jobs (1, 2). Women are also underrepresented in politics (3). Without dismissing the role of discrimination, recent research has implicated a lower preference of women for competition. On page 579 of this issue, Balafoutas and Sutter (4) show how affirmative action policies can increase the willingness of women to compete without affecting the chances of highly skilled men to succeed and while preserving postcompetition cooperation between individuals.