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Constructing Gender in the Economics Lab

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Several experimental studies on altruism have found women to be more generous than men. We investigate whether observed gender gaps in generosity can be explained by experimental setting, where some settings are more conducive than others to activating gender identity and social norms. In a dictator game we study priming along two dimensions: 1) some subjects enter their gender on the first page of the questionnaire (Pre) while others enter their gender on the last page (Post) and 2) some subjects are seated in single-sex rooms (Homogeneous) while others are seated in gender-mixed rooms (Mixed). It turns out that gender differences occur (women are more generous than men) only for the combination Pre and Mixed. The effect is driven by males: men are sensitive to priming, while women are not.

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  • Boschini, Anne & Muren, Astri & Persson, Mats, 2009. "Constructing Gender in the Economics Lab," Research Papers in Economics 2009:15, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sunrpe:2009_0015
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    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:

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    3. 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).
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    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. Muriel Niederle, 2014. "Gender," NBER Working Papers 20788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. 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.
    9. Lívia Markóczy & Sunny Li Sun & Jigao Zhu, 2021. "The Glass Pyramid: Informal Gender Status Hierarchy on Boards," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 168(4), pages 827-845, February.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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," VfS Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203610, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender roles; social norms; altruism; generosity; dictator game; priming;
    All these keywords.

    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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