Experimental Economics

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 318–331

Gender pairing and bargaining—Beware the same sex!

  • Matthias Sutter
  • Ronald Bosman
  • Martin G. Kocher
  • Frans van Winden

DOI: 10.1007/s10683-009-9217-9

Cite this article as:
Sutter, M., Bosman, R., Kocher, M.G. et al. Exp Econ (2009) 12: 318. doi:10.1007/s10683-009-9217-9


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.


Gender pairing Bargaining Psychology Experiment 

JEL Classification

C72 C91 C92 

Supplementary material

10683_2009_9217_MOESM1_ESM.doc (117 kb)
Supplementary material accompanying “Gender pairing and bargaining – Beware the same sex!” by Matthias Sutter, Ronald Bosman, Martin Kocher and Frans van Winden (doc 117KB)

Copyright information

© Economic Science Association 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthias Sutter
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ronald Bosman
    • 3
  • Martin G. Kocher
    • 1
    • 4
  • Frans van Winden
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Public FinanceUniversity of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of GothenburgGöteborgSweden
  3. 3.Financial Stability DivisionDe Nederlandsche BankAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of EconomicsUniversity of MunichMunichGermany
  5. 5.CREED/Department of EconomicsUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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