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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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    Cited by:

    1. Jan Stoop, 2014. "From the lab to the field: envelopes, dictators and manners," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(2), pages 304-313, June.
    2. Clémence Christin, 2013. "Entry Deterrence Through Cooperative R&D Over-Investment," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 79(2), pages 5-26.
    3. Cecchi, Francesco & Melesse, Mequanint Biset, 2016. "Formal law and customary change: A lab-in-field experiment in Ethiopia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 67-85.
    4. Heinz, Matthias & Normann, Hans-Theo & Rau, Holger A., 2016. "How competitiveness may cause a gender wage gap: Experimental evidence," DICE Discussion Papers 213, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    5. Gu, Yiquan & Wenzel, Tobias, 2012. "Transparency, entry, and productivity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 7-10.
    6. Coenen, Michael & Jovanovic, Dragan, 2012. "Investment behavior in a constrained dictator game," DICE Discussion Papers 77, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    7. Stühmeier Torben & Wenzel Tobias, 2012. "Regulating Advertising in the Presence of Public Service Broadcasting," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 1-23, June.
    8. 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.
    9. Benndorf, Volker & Rau, Holger A., 2012. "Competition in the workplace: An experimental investigation," DICE Discussion Papers 53, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    10. Haucap, Justus & Herr, Annika & Frank, Björn, 2011. "In vino veritas: Theory and evidence on social drinking," DICE Discussion Papers 37, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    11. Niall O'Higgins & Arturo Palomba & Patrizia Sbriglia, 2014. "Gender Effects, Culture and Social Influence in the Dictator Game: An Italian Study," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 048, University of Siena.
    12. Benndorf, Volker & Rau, Holger A. & Sölch, Christian, 2018. "Minimizing learning behavior in repeated real-effort tasks," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 343, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    13. Sharma, Smriti, 2015. "Gender and distributional preferences: Experimental evidence from India," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 113-123.
    14. Rodriguez-Lara, Ismael, 2016. "Equity and bargaining power in ultimatum games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 144-165.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    C72; C91; Gender; Reciprocity; Dictator game; Real effort;

    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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