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Gender Differences in Bargaining Outcomes: A Field Experiment on Discrimination

  • Marco Castillo
  • Ragan Petrie
  • Máximo Torero
  • Lise Vesterlund

We examine gender differences in bargaining outcomes in a highly competitive and commonly used market: the taxi market in Lima, Peru. Examining the entire path of negotiation we find that men face higher initial prices and rejection rates. These differentials are consistent with both statistical and taste-based discrimination. To identify the source of 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. Our study secures identification within the market of interest and demonstrates that there are environments where sophisticated statistical inference is the sole source of differential gender outcomes.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18093.

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Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Castillo, Marco & Petrie, Ragan & Torero, Maximo & Vesterlund, Lise, 2013. "Gender differences in bargaining outcomes: A field experiment on discrimination," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 35-48.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18093
Note: LS PE
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  1. Balafoutas, Loukas & Beck, Adrian & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Sutter, Matthias, 2011. "What Drives Taxi Drivers? A Field Experiment on Fraud in a Market for Credence Goods," IZA Discussion Papers 5700, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. John List, 2004. "The nature and extent of discrimination in the marketplace: Evidence from the field," Natural Field Experiments 00299, The Field Experiments Website.
  6. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Jean Tirole, 1987. "Incomplete Information Bargaining with Outside Opportunities," Levine's Working Paper Archive 229, David K. Levine.
  7. Gunderson, Morley, 1989. "Male-Female Wage Differentials and Policy Responses," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 46-72, March.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Judith Rich & Peter Riach, 2002. "Field experiments of discrimination in the market place," Natural Field Experiments 00328, The Field Experiments Website.
  11. Sutter, Matthias & Bosman, R. & Kocher, Martin G. & van Winden, Frans, 2009. "Gender pairing and bargaining-Beware the same sex!," Munich Reprints in Economics 18217, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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