Choking under pressure and gender: Evidence from professional tennis

Danny Cohen-Zada, Alex Krumer, Mosi Rosenboim, Offer Moshe Shapir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


We exploit a unique setting in which two professionals compete in a real-life tennis contest with high monetary rewards in order to assess how men and women respond to competitive pressure. Comparing their performance in low-stakes versus high-stakes situations, we find that men consistently choke under competitive pressure, but with regard to women the results are mixed. Furthermore, even if women show a drop in performance in the more crucial stages of the match, it is in any event about 50% smaller than that of men. These findings are robust to different specifications and estimation strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-190
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Choking
  • Competitive pressure
  • Gender
  • Performance
  • Tennis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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