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How competitiveness may cause a gender wage gap: Experimental evidence

Author

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  • Heinz, Matthias
  • Normann, Hans-Theo
  • Rau, Holger A.

Abstract

We show that choices in competitive behavior may entail a gender wage gap. In our experi ments, employees first choose a remuneration scheme (competitive tournament vs. piece rate) and then conduct a real-effort task. Employers know the pie size the employee has generated, the remuneration scheme chosen, and the employee's gender. Employers then decide how the pie will be split, as in a dictator game. Whereas employers do not discriminate by gender when tournaments are chosen, they take substantially and significantly more from female employees who choose piece-rate remuneration. A discriminatory wage gap occurs which cannot be attributed to employees' performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Heinz, Matthias & Normann, Hans-Theo & Rau, Holger A., 2016. "How competitiveness may cause a gender wage gap: Experimental evidence," DICE Discussion Papers 213, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:213
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jetter, Michael & Walker, Jay K., 2018. "The gender of opponents: Explaining gender differences in performance and risk-taking?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 238-256.
    2. Collischon Matthias, 2019. "Is There a Glass Ceiling over Germany?," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 20(4), pages 329-359, December.
    3. Bonnet, Céline & Schain, Jan Philip, 2017. "An empirical analysis of mergers: Efficiency gains and impact on consumer prices," DICE Discussion Papers 244, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    4. Peterlé, Emmanuel & Rau, Holger A., 2017. "Gender differences in competitive positions: Experimental evidence on job promotion," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 303, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    5. Bredemeier, Christian, 2019. "Gender Gaps in Pay and Inter-Firm Mobility," IZA Discussion Papers 12785, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Chen Liang & Yili Hong & Bin Gu & Jing Peng, 2018. "Gender Wage Gap in Online Gig Economy and Gender Differences in Job Preferences," Working Papers 18-03, NET Institute.
    7. Veronika Grimm & Holger A Rau & Simeon Schächtele, 2020. "Gender differences in multi-employee gift exchange with self-reported contributions," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(9), pages 1-19, September.
    8. Collischon & Matthias, 2018. "Can Personality Traits Explain Glass Ceilings?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 965, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    9. Di Tommaso, Maria Laura & Contini, Dalit & De Rosa, Dalila & Piazzalunga, Daniela, 2020. "Tackling the Gender Gap in Math with Active Learning Teaching Practices," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 202016, University of Turin.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    dictator game; discrimination; gender wage gap; laboratory experiment; real-effort task;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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