Studying Competition and Gender Through Chess

Prior work has shown that people's response to competition is in part predicted by their gender. Understanding why and when this occurs is important in areas such as labor market outcomes. A well structured study is challenging due to numerous confounding factors. Peter Backus and his colleagues have identified competitive chess as an ideal arena to study the topic. Find out why and what conclusions they reached.

Our discussion centers around Gender, Competition and Performance: Evidence from Real Tournaments from Backus, Cubel, Guid, Sanchez-Pages, and MaƱas. A summary of their paper can also be found here.

Peter Backus

Peter Backus


[Peter Backus]( has a PhD in economics and is currently a Lecturer in Economics at the University of Manchester and a Fellow at the Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB). Peter is also a former guest of the show from back in 2014 when we discussed the economics of charitable giving and other interesting economic topics. His research has covered topics including the economics of charities, the private provisioning of public goods, and the study of gender differences in competition.