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Why Can’t a Woman Bid More Like a Man?

  • Yan Chen
  • Peter Katuscak
  • Emre Ozdenoren

We find robust gender differences in bidding behavior in sealed bid auctions with independent and private valuations in a laboratory setting. In particular, we find that women bid significantly higher and earn significantly less than men do in the first-price auction, while we find no evidence of a gender difference in the likelihood of dominant strategy play in the second-price auction. At a biological level, in the first-price auction, women during menstruation, when the estrogen level is lowest, do not bid differently from men. The gender difference in the first-price auction is driven by women during other phases of the menstrual cycle when they have higher estrogen levels.

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Paper provided by The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague in its series CERGE-EI Working Papers with number wp275.

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Date of creation: Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp275
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  1. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709, March.
  2. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  3. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101, 08.
  4. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance In Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074, August.
  5. J. Riley & E. Maskin, 1981. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Working papers 311, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Andrea Ichino & Enrico Moretti, 2006. "Biological Gender Differences, Absenteeism and the Earning Gap," NBER Working Papers 12369, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Marco Casari & John C. Ham & John H. Kagel, 2007. "Selection Bias, Demographic Effects, and Ability Effects in Common Value Auction Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1278-1304, September.
  8. Aldo Rustichini & Uri Gneezy, 2004. "Gender and competition at a young age," Framed Field Experiments 00151, The Field Experiments Website.
  9. Buser, Thomas, 2012. "The impact of the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptives on competitiveness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 1-10.
  10. Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-30, October.
  11. Burkhard Schipper, 2012. "Sex Hormones and Competitive Bidding," Working Papers 128, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  12. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  13. Mariesa A. Herrmann & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2012. "Does Menstruation Explain Gender Gaps in Work Absenteeism?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(2), pages 493-508.
  14. Riley, John G & Samuelson, William F, 1981. "Optimal Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 381-92, June.
  15. E. Elisabet RutstrÃm, 1998. "Home-grown values and incentive compatible auction design," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 427-441.
  16. Chen, Yan & Katuscak, Peter & Ozdenoren, Emre, 2007. "Sealed bid auctions with ambiguity: Theory and experiments," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 513-535, September.
  17. Buser, Thomas, 2012. "Digit ratios, the menstrual cycle and social preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 457-470.
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