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Do women behave more reciprocally than men? Gender differences in real effort dictator games

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  • Heinz, Matthias
  • Juranek, Steffen
  • Rau, Holger A.

Abstract

We analyze dictator allocation decisions in an experiment where the recipients have to earn the pot to be divided with a real-effort task. As the recipients move before the dictators, their effort decisions resemble the first move in a trust game. Depending on the recipients’ performance, the size of the pot is either high or low. We compare this real-effort treatment to a baseline treatment where the pot is a windfall gain and where a lottery determines the pot size. In the baseline treatment, reciprocity cannot play a role. We find that female dictators show reciprocity and decrease their taking-rates significantly in the real-effort treatment. This treatment effect is larger when female dictators make a decision on recipients who successfully generated a large pot compared to the case where the recipients performed poorly. By contrast, there is no treatment effect with male dictators, who generally exhibit more selfish behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Heinz, Matthias & Juranek, Steffen & Rau, Holger A., 2012. "Do women behave more reciprocally than men? Gender differences in real effort dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 105-110.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:83:y:2012:i:1:p:105-110
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2011.06.015
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Do women behave more reciprocally than men? (Hint: yes)
      by Nicholas Gruen in Club Troppo on 2011-08-03 07:28:41

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    C72; C91; Gender; Reciprocity; Dictator game; Real effort;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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