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Gender differences in cooperation with group membership

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  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Charness, Gary & Rustichini, Aldo, 2011. "Gender differences in cooperation with group membership," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 77-85, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:72:y:2011:i:1:p:77-85
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. 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.
    9. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Karen Evelyn Hauge & Ole Rogeberg, 2015. "Representing Others in a Public Good Game," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(3), pages 1-13, September.
    2. Peshkovskaya, Anastasia & Myagkov, Mikhail & Babkina, Tatiana & Lukinova, Evgeniya, 2017. "Do Women Socialize Better? Evidence from a Study on Sociality Effects on Gender Differences in Cooperative Behavior," MPRA Paper 82797, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. 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.
    4. Comeig, Irene & Grau-Grau, Alfredo & Jaramillo-Gutiérrez, Ainhoa & Ramírez, Federico, 2016. "Gender, self-confidence, sports, and preferences for competition," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 1418-1422.
    5. Furtner, Nadja C. & Kocher, Martin G. & Martinsson, Peter & Matzat, Dominik & Wollbrant, Conny, 2016. "Gender and cooperative preferences on five continents," Discussion Papers in Economics 30226, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    6. Charness, Gary & Cobo-Reyes, Ramón & Jiménez, Natalia, 2014. "Identities, selection, and contributions in a public-goods game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 322-338.
    7. repec:eee:jeborg:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:32-46 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. 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.
    9. Berge, Lars Ivar Oppedal & Juniwaty, Kartika Sari & Sekei, Linda Helgesson, 2016. "Gender composition and group dynamics: Evidence from a laboratory experiment with microfinance clients," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PA), pages 1-20.
    10. Hauge, Karen Evelyn & Røgeberg, Ole, 2014. "Contributing to Public Goods as Individuals versus Group Representatives: Evidence of Gender Differences," Memorandum 16/2014, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    11. repec:eee:ecolec:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:32-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Charness, Gary & Cooper, David & Grossman, Zachary, 2015. "Silence is Golden: Â Communication Costs and Team Problem Solving," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt3n25b620, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    13. Chmura, Thorsten & Goerg, Sebastian J. & Weiss, Pia, 2016. "Natural groups and economic characteristics as driving forces of wage discrimination," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 178-200.
    14. Gürerk, Özgür & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Rockenbach, Bettina, 2017. "Endogenously Emerging Gender Diversity in an Experimental Team Work Setting," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168067, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    15. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-16-00567 is not listed on IDEAS

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