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Constructing gender differences in the economics lab

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  • Boschini, Anne
  • Muren, Astri
  • Persson, Mats

Abstract

We study the effects of experimental design on male and female behavior in a dictator game. Following social identity theory we investigate how experimental procedure may affect outcome through gender priming, i.e. the activation of gender stereotypes specifying that women behave altruistically and men egoistically. We prime subjects by asking them to indicate their gender in a questionnaire, before playing the game. In our experiment, such gender priming is effective (i.e. creates a gender difference in generosity) in gender-mixed environments, but not in single-sex environments. Further, men are more sensitive to priming than women are.

Suggested Citation

  • Boschini, Anne & Muren, Astri & Persson, Mats, 2012. "Constructing gender differences in the economics lab," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 741-752.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:84:y:2012:i:3:p:741-752
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2012.09.024
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bertrand, Marianne, 2011. "New Perspectives on Gender," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    2. Boschini, Anne & Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Muren, Astri & Ranehill, Eva, 2015. "Gender and altruism in a random sample," Research Papers in Economics 2015:7, Stockholm University, Department of Economics, revised 29 Jan 2018.
    3. repec:eee:jeborg:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:32-46 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Muriel Niederle, 2014. "Gender," NBER Working Papers 20788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Lise Vesterlund, 2015. "Breaking the Glass Ceiling with "No": Gender Differences in Accepting and Receiving Requests for Non-Promotable Tasks," Working Paper 5663, Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh.
    6. Jana Vyrastekova & Esther-Mirjam Sent & Irene van Staveren, 2015. "Gender Beliefs and Cooperation in a Public Goods Game," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(2), pages 1148-1153.
    7. repec:kap:expeco:v:20:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10683-016-9498-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ola Andersson & Topi Miettinen & Kaisa Hytönen & Magnus Johannesson & Ute Stephan, 2017. "Subliminal influence on generosity," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(3), pages 531-555, September.
    9. Boschini, Anne & Muren, Astri & Persson, Mats, 2011. "Men among men do not take norm enforcement seriously," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 523-529.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Self-stereotyping; Identity; Social norms; Generosity; Altruism; Gender roles; Experimental method;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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