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Gender Differences in Prisoners' Dilemma

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Charles Darwin (1874) stated that "women are less selfish but men are more competitive". Very recent papers (Eckel & Grossman, 1998, 2001 or Andreoni & Vesterlund 2001, among others) have shown the relevance of gender in altruism in both ultimatum and dictator games. In this paper we analyse the role of gender in one-shot Prisoners' Dilemma. We use payments cards to reveal players' values of the game, what gives information about players' beliefs on rival's cooperativeness. Surprisingly 15% of population choose the cooperative action although the gender effect is quite ambiguous in actions. Within those players who choose the cooperative action, females do so believing her rival will defect.

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Paper provided by Centro de Estudios Andaluces in its series Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces with number E2003/19.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cea:doctra:e2003_19

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Keywords: Prisoners' Dilemma; cooperation; payment cards; expected utility theory; beliefs; gender differences.;

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  1. Hessel Oosterbeek & Randolph Sloof & Gijs van de Kuilen, 2004. "Cultural differences in ultimatum game experiments: Evidence from a meta-analysis," Experimental 0401003, EconWPA.
  2. Brown-Kruse, Jamie & Hummels, David, 1993. "Gender effects in laboratory public goods contribution : Do individuals put their money where their mouth is?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 255-267, December.
  3. James Andreoni & Lise Vesterlund, 2001. "Which Is The Fair Sex? Gender Differences In Altruism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 293-312, February.
  4. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
  5. 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.
  6. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
  7. 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.
  8. Burnham, Terence C., 2003. "Engineering altruism: a theoretical and experimental investigation of anonymity and gift giving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 133-144, January.
  9. Yaw Nyarko & Andrew Schotter, 2002. "An Experimental Study of Belief Learning Using Elicited Beliefs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 971-1005, May.
  10. 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.
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