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How competitiveness may cause a gender wage gap: Experimental evidence

Author

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  • Heinz, Matthias
  • Normann, Hans-Theo
  • Rau, Holger A.

Abstract

We show that choices in competitive behavior may entail a gender wage gap. In our experiments, employees first choose a remuneration scheme (competitive tournament vs. piece rate) and then conduct a real-effort task. Employers know the pie size the employee has generated, the remuneration scheme chosen, and the employee׳s gender. Employers then decide how the pie will be split, as in a dictator game. Whereas employers do not discriminate by gender when tournaments are chosen, they take substantially and significantly more from female employees who choose piece-rate remuneration. A discriminatory wage gap occurs which cannot be attributed to employees׳ performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Heinz, Matthias & Normann, Hans-Theo & Rau, Holger A., 2016. "How competitiveness may cause a gender wage gap: Experimental evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 336-349.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:90:y:2016:i:c:p:336-349
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2016.02.011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Emmanuel Perterle & Holger A. Rau, 2017. "Gender Differences in Competitive Positions, Experimental Evidence on Job Promotion," Working Papers 2017-01, CRESE.
    2. Collischon & Matthias, 2018. "Can Personality Traits Explain Glass Ceilings?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 965, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Matthias Collischon, 2017. "Is there a Glass Ceiling over Germany?," Working Papers 175, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    4. Bonnet, Céline & Schain, Jan Philip, 2017. "An empirical analysis of mergers: Efficiency gains and impact on consumer prices," DICE Discussion Papers 244, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dictator game; Discrimination; Gender wage gap; Laboratory experiment; Real-effort task;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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