We conducted an incentivized experiment to measure willingness to compete from a sample of the members of a representative survey panel (N=1674). Individuals who compete in the experiment are more highly educated, choose more ambitious college majors, earn more and are more likely to be in a high-level professional position. One year later, we elicited willingness to compete from all members of the panel through unincentivized survey measures (N=5268). We show that the unincentivized and incentivized measures are strongly correlated at the individual level and predict the same outcomes. The predictive power of willingness to compete for education and labor market outcomes is robust to controlling for other traits, including risk seeking, confidence and the Big Five personality traits. For most outcomes, the predictive power of willingness to compete exceeds that of other traits.
Does willingness to compete predict education and labor market outcomes? Evidence from incentivized choices and validated survey measures
Jan 24th, 2019
University of Amsterdam