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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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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Are women really more generous?
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-10-05 19:22:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Bertrand, Marianne, 2011. "New Perspectives on Gender," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.),Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 17, pages 1543-1590, Elsevier.
    2. Muriel Niederle, 2014. "Gender," NBER Working Papers 20788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Sanyun Zeng & Lihong Wang, 2015. "CEO gender and corporate cash holdings. Are female CEOs more conservative?," Asia-Pacific Journal of Accounting & Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 449-474, December.
    4. 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.
    5. Ola Andersson & Marieke Huysentruyt & Topi Miettinen & Ute Stephan, 2017. "Person–Organization Fit and Incentives: A Causal Test," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 63(1), pages 73-96, January.
    6. Boschini, Anne & Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Muren, Astri & Ranehill, Eva, 2018. "Gender and altruism in a random sample," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 72-77.
    7. 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.
    8. Boschini, Anne & Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Muren, Astri & Ranehill, Eva, 2019. "Gender, risk preferences and willingness to compete in a random sample of the Swedish population✰," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
    9. Li, Sherry Xin & de Oliveira, Angela C.M. & Eckel, Catherine, 2017. "Common identity and the voluntary provision of public goods: An experimental investigation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 32-46.
    10. Knutsson, Mikael & Martinsson, Peter & Persson, Emil & Wollbrant, Conny, 2019. "Gender differences in altruism: Evidence from a natural field experiment on matched donations," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 47-50.
    11. Engler, Daniel & Groh, Elke D. & Ziegler, Andreas, 2019. "The causal effect of religious and environmental identity on green preferences: A combined priming and stated choice experiment," Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203610, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.

    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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