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Constructing gender differences in the economics lab

Anne Boschini (), Astri Muren () and Mats Persson

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2012, vol. 84, issue 3, 741-752

Abstract: We study the effects of experimental design on male and female behavior in a dictator game. Following social identity theory we investigate how experimental procedure may affect outcome through gender priming, i.e. the activation of gender stereotypes specifying that women behave altruistically and men egoistically. We prime subjects by asking them to indicate their gender in a questionnaire, before playing the game. In our experiment, such gender priming is effective (i.e. creates a gender difference in generosity) in gender-mixed environments, but not in single-sex environments. Further, men are more sensitive to priming than women are.

Keywords: Self-stereotyping; Identity; Social norms; Generosity; Altruism; Gender roles; Experimental method (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D64 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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Working Paper: Constructing Gender in the Economics Lab (2009) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2012.09.024

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