Who Gets to the Bargaining Table? Understanding Gender Variation in the Initiation of Negotiations
26 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2004
Unlike typical negotiation experiments, we investigate when people initiate negotiations when there are no overt prescriptions to negotiate. In a novel paradigm, participants played a word game and were subsequently offered the lowest compensation possible by the experimenter. Consistently, women asked the experimenter for greater compensation much less often than men. Situational ambiguity also affected initiation of negotiation: Stronger cues about the negotiability of payment increased rates of asking. Yet, cues to "negotiate" did not lessen the gender gap. We further explored men's and women's perceptions and feelings about negotiating for things compared to asking for things and found negotiating to be more aversive for women than asking. Based on these results, we are currently exploring if cues to "ask" compared to cues to "negotiate" will increase rates of initiating negotiation among women and narrow the gender gap.
Keywords: Negotiation, Gender
JEL Classification: D74
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation