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Gender differences in cooperation with group membership

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Author Info

  • Charness, Gary
  • Rustichini, Aldo

Abstract

We study experimentally how males and females differ in the way same-gender peers observing their action affects their social behavior. In our experiment, people play a Prisoner's Dilemma game with a partisan audience watching the choice. Two groups participated in each session; these groups could be both all-male, both all-female, or one all-male and one all-female. Groups were separated into two rooms. Each person in the group played the game once with an audience of the same group and once with audience of the other group. Behavior is significantly affected by the interaction of gender and place: males cooperate substantially less often when observed by their peer group, while females cooperate substantially more often. We discuss a possible explanation for this pattern: Males and females wish to signal their in-group peers, but males wish to signal their formidability and females wish to signal their cooperativeness.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 72 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 77-85

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:72:y:2011:i:1:p:77-85

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

Related research

Keywords: Group membership Gender differences Cooperation;

References

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  1. Robson, Arthur J., 1996. "The Evolution of Attitudes to Risk: Lottery Tickets and Relative Wealth," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 190-207, June.
  2. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  3. Dekel, E. & Scotchmer, S., 1999. "On the Evolution of Attitudes Towards Risk in Winner-Take-All Games," Papers 4-99, Tel Aviv.
  4. Wärneryd, Karl, 2001. "Rent, risk, and replication: preference adaptation in winner-take-all markets," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance FS IV 01-10, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  5. Matthias Sutter, 2008. "Individual behavior and group membership: Comment," Jena Economic Research Papers 2008-075, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  6. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2004. "Gender and Competition at a Young Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 377-381, May.
  7. Charness, Gary B & Gneezy, Uri, 2007. "Strong Evidence for Gender Differences in Investment," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt428481s8, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  8. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," NBER Working Papers 11474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Yan Chen & Sherry Xin Li, 2009. "Group Identity and Social Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 431-57, March.
  10. Rubin, Paul H & Paul, Chris W, II, 1979. "An Evolutionary Model of Taste for Risk," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 17(4), pages 585-96, October.
  11. 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.
  12. Robson, Arthur J., 1996. "A Biological Basis for Expected and Non-expected Utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 397-424, February.
  13. Gary Charness & Luca Rigotti & Aldo Rustichini, 2007. "Individual Behavior and Group Membership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1340-1352, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Charness, Gary, 2012. "Efficiency, Team building, and Spillover in a Public-goods Game," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt2np178xh, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  2. Lotito, Gianna & Migheli, Matteo & Ortona, Guido, 2011. "An experimental inquiry into the nature of relational goods," POLIS Working Papers 160, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.

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