Kármán Presentation by Professor Oliver Fabel, University of Vienna


Promotion Contests with Empathic Agents and a Remark on the Effect of Gender Quotas


Tuesday, May 9, 2017, 5:30pm


Sammelbau, Room „WiÜ“ (5th floor, room number 518)
Templergraben 64



Gender differences in competitive attitudes which lead to differences in the participation of men and women in tournament settings have been well-studied.

We wish to focus on behavior in contests and search for effects of gender-specific preference structures. Specifically, we suggest augmenting instantaneous preferences of decision-makers in promotion contests by introducing the notion of empathy. Empathy – or, in economic theory terms, “mentalizing”– refers to the human capability of putting oneself into the place of the other. Empathy is a contextual concept. Hence, in contrast to more well-known other-regarding preference theories an individual does or does not develop empathy only towards a particular contest opponent and given the particular tournament situation.

Also, empathy is not a reciprocal concept; an individual can feel empathic towards another although this feeling is not returned. However, despite the contextual feature of empathy, in any given situation and vis-ŕ-vis any given contestant, women are long-known to develop such emotions with higher probabilities than men.