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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:

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    2. Collischon Matthias, 2019. "Is There a Glass Ceiling over Germany?," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 20(4), pages 329-359, December.
    3. Neyer, Ulrike & Stempel, Daniel, 2019. "Macroeconomic effects of gender discrimination," DICE Discussion Papers 324, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    4. Céline Bonnet & Jan Philip Schain, 2020. "An Empirical Analysis Of Mergers: Efficiency Gains And Impact On Consumer Prices," Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-35.
    5. Peterlé, Emmanuel & Rau, Holger A., 2017. "Gender differences in competitive positions: Experimental evidence on job promotion," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 303, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    6. José J. Domínguez, 2021. "The Effectiveness of Committee Quotas; The Role of Group Dynamics," ThE Papers 21/12, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    7. Bredemeier, Christian, 2019. "Gender Gaps in Pay and Inter-Firm Mobility," IZA Discussion Papers 12785, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Loukas Balafoutas & Helena Fornwagner & Brit Grosskopf, 2021. "Predictably competitive? What faces can tell us about competitive behavior," Discussion Papers 2107, University of Exeter, Department of Economics.
    11. Neyer, Ulrike & Stempel, Daniel, 2021. "Gender discrimination, inflation, and the business cycle," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    12. José J. Domínguez & Natalia Montinari, 2021. "Gender Quotas and Task Assignment in Organizations," ThE Papers 21/13, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    13. Collischon & Matthias, 2018. "Can Personality Traits Explain Glass Ceilings?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 965, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    14. Giorgia Giovannetti & Margherita Velucchi, 2022. "Gender discrimination and firm survival: a multilevel approach for EU textile companies," SN Business & Economics, Springer, vol. 2(9), pages 1-19, September.
    15. 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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