Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Do women behave more reciprocally than men? Gender differences in real effort dictator games

Authors:
Juranek, Steffen
Rau, Holger A.
Source:
Volume: 83
Number: 1
Pages: 105 - 110
Month: June
ISSN-Print: 0167-2681
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2012
Keywords: Gender; Reciprocity; Dictator game; Real effort
Abstract: We analyze dictator allocation decisions in an experiment where the recipients have to earn the pot to be divided with a real-effort task. As the recipients move before the dictators, their effort decisions resemble the first move in a trust game. Depending on the recipients’ performance, the size of the pot is either high or low. We compare this real-effort treatment to a baseline treatment where the pot is a windfall gain and where a lottery determines the pot size. In the baseline treatment, reciprocity cannot play a role. We find that female dictators show reciprocity and decrease their taking-rates significantly in the real-effort treatment. This treatment effect is larger when female dictators make a decision on recipients who successfully generated a large pot compared to the case where the recipients performed poorly. By contrast, there is no treatment effect with male dictators, who generally exhibit more selfish behavior. the pot to be divided with a real-effort task. As the recipients move before the dictators, their effort decisions resemble the first move in a trust game. Depending on the recipients’ performance, the size of the pot is either high or low. We compare this real-effort treatment to a baseline treatment where the pot is a windfall gain and where a lottery determines the pot size. In the baseline treatment, reciprocity cannot play a role. We find that female dictators show reciprocity and decrease their taking-rates significantly in the real-effort treatment. This treatment effect is larger when female dictators make a decision on recipients who successfully generated a large pot compared to the case where the recipients performed poorly. By contrast, there is no treatment effect with male dictators, who generally exhibit more selfish behavior.
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