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