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Gender differences in bargaining outcomes: A field experiment on discrimination

  • Castillo, Marco
  • Petrie, Ragan
  • Torero, Maximo
  • Vesterlund, Lise

Relying on a commonly used fixed-offer bargaining script we examine gender differences in bargaining outcomes in a highly competitive and frequently used market: the taxi market in Lima, Peru. Our bargaining script secures that only the seller can change prices and terminate negotiations, thus we are able to examine differences in the seller's entire path of negotiation and in the reservation price at which they are willing to trade. We find that male and female passengers who use the same bargaining script are not treated equally. Men face higher initial prices, final prices, and rejection rates. These differences are consistent with male drivers being more reluctant to give-in to demanding negotiations by male passengers, and with male passengers being perceived as having high valuations. To identify whether taste-based or statistical discrimination drives the inferior treatment of men we conduct an experiment where passengers send a signal on valuation before negotiating. The signal eliminates gender differences and the response is shown only to be consistent with statistical discrimination. Thus in the limiting case of a highly competitive market with experienced traders, we do not find evidence of taste-based discrimination, the differential observed is however consistent with statistical discrimination.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 99 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 35-48

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:99:y:2013:i:c:p:35-48
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Loukas Balafoutas & Adrian Beck & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Matthias Sutter, 2011. "What Drives Taxi Drivers? A Field Experiment on Fraud in a Market for Credence Goods," CESifo Working Paper Series 3461, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2010. "Explaining the Gender Gap in Math Test Scores: The Role of Competition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 129-44, Spring.
  3. John List, 2004. "The nature and extent of discrimination in the marketplace: Evidence from the field," Natural Field Experiments 00299, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. Gunderson, Morley, 1989. "Male-Female Wage Differentials and Policy Responses," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 46-72, March.
  5. Matthias Sutter & Ronald Bosman & Martin Kocher & Frans van Winden, 2008. "Gender pairing and bargaining ? Beware the same sex!," Working Papers 2008-27, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  6. Tirole, Jean & Levine, David & Fudenberg, Drew, 1987. "Incomplete Information Bargaining with Outside Opportunities," Scholarly Articles 3196301, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. James Andreoni & Marco Castillo & Ragan Petrie, 2003. "What Do Bargainers' Preferences Look Like? Experiments with a Convex Ultimatum Game," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 672-685, June.
  8. Ayres, Ian & Siegelman, Peter, 1995. "Race and Gender Discrimination in Bargaining for a New Car," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 304-21, June.
  9. Castillo, Marco & Petrie, Ragan, 2010. "Discrimination in the lab: Does information trump appearance?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 50-59, January.
  10. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 2001. "Chivalry and Solidarity in Ultimatum Games," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 171-88, April.
  11. P. A. Riach & J. Rich, 2002. "Field Experiments of Discrimination in the Market Place," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 480-518, November.
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