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El trimestre económico

versão On-line ISSN 2448-718Xversão impressa ISSN 0041-3011


ARCEO GOMEZ, Eva Olimpia; CAMPOS VAZQUEZ, Raymundo Miguel; MEDINA CORTINA, Eduardo M.  e  VELEZ GRAJALES, Roberto. Bargaining and Economic Preferences by Gender: Experimental Evidence from Mexico. El trimestre econ [online]. 2018, vol.85, n.339, pp.645-678. ISSN 2448-718X.


In Mexico, women obtain a lower wage than men on average. A potential cause of this gender pay gap is discrimination, but, in this paper, we show there are other channels that contribute to such gap.


We implement a laboratory experiment with 404 individuals in which they play the ultimatum game and a wage bargaining game. The experiment contains three stages: an anonymous stage, a stage where we reveal the opponent’s photograph, and a final face-to-face phase. We estimate gender differences in bargaining preferences.


First, we find no gender differences in the amount proposers send to respondents in both types of games. Second, gender matters in the bargaining process. When participants know their opponent’s gender, women show “solidarity” to other women in terms of higher wage proposals. Third, women reject less offers than men, especially in the ultimatum game. Lastly, in the wage bargaining game, women counteroffer less than men, and men are more aggressive in terms of counteroffers against firms headed by women.


Gender stereotyping can explain our results. Such stereotypes may define how each gender should behave in different social situations, or, for instance, how we perceive women in positions of power. Hence, results are relevant for public policies that enhance social norms related to gender equity.

Palavras-chave : social preferences; gender; laboratory experiment.

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