Second-Order Beliefs and Gender

47 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2020 Last revised: 21 Aug 2020

See all articles by Andrew Dustan

Andrew Dustan

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics

Kristine Koutout

Vanderbilt University

Greg Leo

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 4, 2020

Abstract

Beliefs about beliefs---second-order beliefs---about the differences between populations are important to understanding differences in outcomes between those populations. To study their potential impact, we develop an incentive-compatible experimental framework for eliciting beliefs (first-order) and beliefs about beliefs (second-order) about the differences in any measurable characteristics between any two populations. We implement the procedure to study beliefs about the performance of men and women on math and abstract bargaining tasks. In the math task, 78% of participants believe that most men believe men outscore women. In contrast, 34% believe that most women believe men outscore women. Despite these differences in second-order beliefs, we observe no such difference in first-order beliefs. The pattern of results is similar in the bargaining task. These results have important labor market implications for the persistence of gender gaps.

Keywords: Higher-Order Beliefs, Gender, Experimental Methods

Suggested Citation

Dustan, Andrew and Koutout, Kristine and Leo, Greg, Second-Order Beliefs and Gender (August 4, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3512513 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3512513

Andrew Dustan

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States

Kristine Koutout

Vanderbilt University ( email )

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.kristinekoutout.com

Greg Leo (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
66
Abstract Views
474
rank
387,646
PlumX Metrics