Male, Female, or No Comment? Gender Information Disclosure in Trusting and Reciprocating

38 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2021 Last revised: 2 Aug 2021

See all articles by Yunwen He

Yunwen He

Tsinghua University

Jaimie W. Lien

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Department of Decision Sciences & Managerial Economics

Jie Zheng

Tsinghua University - School of Economics & Management

Date Written: November 30, 2020

Abstract

When interacting with others, individuals are often known to adjust their behavior based on the gender characteristics of the other person. Information about another person’s gender tends to influence both behavior towards that individual, as well as expectations about that individual’s behavior in return. However, as many societies around the world become increasingly interested in gender equality, what are the potential effects of introducing a gender-blind option? In this study, we examine the effect of gender and gender information disclosure, on decisions about giving and reciprocating, in a laboratory experiment. Treatments vary by the type of reciprocity examined (direct, indirect) and information conditions (no information, imposed information, self-disclosed information). Direct reciprocity combined with imposed gender information generates the highest initial offers. In addition, we find that choosing to conceal one’s own gender information in the self-disclosed condition was penalized by peers via lower first stage offers from both males and females. Experience with the game generally widens the gender gap in offers made, even though players are largely similar in their level of trustworthiness. Finally, we find evidence that subjects in the self-disclosure condition attempt to reveal or conceal their gender information strategically, exhibiting experimentation following a low offer received. These findings contain implications for the design of gender information policies in various settings.

Keywords: Trust, Reciprocity, Gender, Information Disclosure

JEL Classification: J16, C91, D83, D91

Suggested Citation

He, Yunwen and Lien, Jaimie W. and Zheng, Jie, Male, Female, or No Comment? Gender Information Disclosure in Trusting and Reciprocating (November 30, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3791421 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3791421

Yunwen He

Tsinghua University ( email )

Beijing
China

Jaimie W. Lien (Contact Author)

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Department of Decision Sciences & Managerial Economics ( email )

Shatin, N.T.
Hong Kong

Jie Zheng

Tsinghua University - School of Economics & Management ( email )

Beijing, 100084
China

HOME PAGE: http://jzheng.weebly.com/

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