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Of mice and men: Within gender variation in strategic behavior

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  • Castillo, Marco E.
  • Cross, Philip J.
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    Abstract

    We study behavioral differences across and within genders in a family of ultimatum and dictator games. We find these differences are due not only to altruistic preferences but also beliefs about the strategic behavior of others. The behavior of men in strategic situations is not significantly more aggressive than women on average. But this average masks wide variation in intra-gender behavior. In particular, a sizable minority of males are "mice," behaving timidly in strategic environments. Our experimental design shows that the standard ultimatum game can mask significant inter- and intra-gender differences in strategic behavior. These behavioral patterns in strategic environments are shown to be correlated with preferences for altruism in non-strategic settings. Such gender differences could well manifest themselves in real-world large-stakes transactions, such as salary negotiations.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

    Volume (Year): 64 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 2 (November)
    Pages: 421-432

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:64:y:2008:i:2:p:421-432

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

    Related research

    Keywords: Noncooperative games Experimental economics Beliefs;

    References

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    1. Jeffrey Carpenter & Eric Verhoogen & Stephen Burks, 2003. "The Effect of Stakes in Distribution Experiments," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 03-28, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    2. Gilboa, I. & Schmeidler, D., 2001. "A Derivation of Expected Utility Maximization in the Context of a Game," Papers 2001-18, Tel Aviv.
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    4. Dwyer, Peggy D. & Gilkeson, James H. & List, John A., 2002. "Gender differences in revealed risk taking: evidence from mutual fund investors," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 151-158, July.
    5. Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-30, October.
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    7. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance In Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074, August.
    8. Andreoni, James & Vesterlund, Lise, 2001. "Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism," Staff General Research Papers 1951, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    9. Solnick, Sara J, 2001. "Gender Differences in the Ultimatum Game," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 189-200, April.
    10. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 2001. "Chivalry and Solidarity in Ultimatum Games," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 171-88, April.
    11. Nancy Buchan & Rachel Croson, 1999. "Gender and Culture: International Experimental Evidence from Trust Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 386-391, May.
    12. Croson, Rachel T. A., 2000. "Thinking like a game theorist: factors affecting the frequency of equilibrium play," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 299-314, March.
    13. Yaw Nyarko & Andrew Schotter, 2002. "An Experimental Study of Belief Learning Using Elicited Beliefs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 971-1005, May.
    14. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 1998. "Are Women Less Selfish Than Men? Evidence from Dictator Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 726-35, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Migheli, Matteo, 2010. "Gender at Work: Productivity and Incentives," AICCON Working Papers 74-2010, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    2. Cinzia Di Novi & Rowena Jacobs & Matteo Migheli, 2013. "The quality of life of female informal caregivers: from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean Sea," Working Papers 084cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
    3. Marcus Dittrich & Kristina Leipold, 2014. "Gender Differences in Strategic Reasoning," CESifo Working Paper Series 4763, CESifo Group Munich.

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