, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 318-331
Date: 09 Jun 2009

Gender pairing and bargaining—Beware the same sex!

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Abstract

We study the influence of gender and gender pairing on economic decision making in an experimental two-person bargaining game where the other party’s gender is known to both actors. We find that (1) gender per se has no significant effect on behavior, whereas (2) gender pairing systematically affects behavior. In particular, we observe much more competition and retaliation and, thus, lower efficiency when the bargaining partners have the same gender than when they have the opposite gender. These findings are consistent with predictions from evolutionary psychology. Implications of our results for real-world organizations are discussed.