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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 - Economics 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. E. Elisabet RutstrÃm, 1998. "Home-grown values and incentive compatible auction design," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 27(3), pages 427-441.
  2. Ichino, Andrea & Moretti, Enrico, 2006. "Biological Gender Differences, Absenteeism and the Earning Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 2207, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709, December.
  4. 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.
  5. John G. Riley & William Samuelson, 1979. "Optimal Auctions," UCLA Economics Working Papers 152, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Buser, Thomas, 2012. "Digit ratios, the menstrual cycle and social preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 457-470.
  7. 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.
  8. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance in Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. J. Riley & E. Maskin, 1981. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Working papers 311, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2004. "Gender and Competition at a Young Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 377-381, May.
  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. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete too Much?," Discussion Papers 04-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  15. Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-30, October.
  16. Burkhard Schipper, 2012. "Sex Hormones and Competitive Bidding," Working Papers 128, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  17. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
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