Gender Differences in Cooperation and Competition

  • Roberto Hernán
  • Praveen Kujal


Empirical evidence indicates that females earn lower wages than men with similar abilities, and that there are fewer women in management positions than in administrative ones. In this chapter we will examine the factors that have been proposed in the experimental literature to explain these differences from three distinct perspectives:
  • The supply side

  • The demand side, and

  • The role of society in terms of biological inheritance.

We begin with a revision of the literature analyzing, from the supply side, gender differences in preferences to compete, cooperate, and social preferences. These are possible contributing factors that may reduce female participation in the labor market. Subsequently, we study the influencing factors from the demand side, such as discrimination and group perception in terms of gender. Finally, we discuss the extent to which these differences can be explained by education: that is, people’s social conditioning, and to what extent they are given by nature. While nature deals with physiological and evolutionary differences, education deals with the effects environment has on our behavior. We summarize the main results in the conclusions.


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Copyright information

© Roberto Hernán and Praveen Kujal 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Hernán
  • Praveen Kujal

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