A Behavioral Study of Pricing Decisions for Professional Services: A Focus on Gender

37 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2007

See all articles by John L. Graham

John L. Graham

University of California, Irvine - Paul Merage School of Business

William Cron

Texas Christian University - M.J. Neeley School of Business

Mary Gilly

University of California, Irvine - Paul Merage School of Business

John Slocum

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: April 2, 2007

Abstract

Professional service providers (e.g., doctors, lawyers, architects, management consultants, and veterinarians) can engage in dynamic pricing, that is, varying prices among customers. Yet, little is known about how professionals set prices for their services. With the increase in the proportion of women in many professions, it is important to understand the influence of gender on the setting of prices for professional services. A field experiment using an in-basket approach to study pricing decisions reveals that women tend to set lower prices than men for the same services offered. The relationship between gender and price setting was also found to be mediated by a veterinarian's relationship orientation. Further, women professionals were influenced by the number of the associates in their practices and the clients' characteristics in setting prices while men's prices were unaffected by such considerations. The findings hold important implications for theories about price setting decisions particularly related to considerations beyond the traditional economic ones.

Keywords: Gender, pricing, relationship orientation, PLS modeling

Suggested Citation

Graham, John L. and Cron, William and Gilly, Mary and Slocum, John, A Behavioral Study of Pricing Decisions for Professional Services: A Focus on Gender (April 2, 2007). SMU Cox School of Business Research Paper No. 07-001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=979607 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.979607

John L. Graham

University of California, Irvine - Paul Merage School of Business ( email )

Irvine, CA California 92697-3125
United States
(949) 824-8468 (Phone)

William Cron

Texas Christian University - M.J. Neeley School of Business ( email )

Fort Worth, TX 76129
United States

Mary Gilly

University of California, Irvine - Paul Merage School of Business ( email )

Irvine, CA California 92697-3125
United States

John Slocum (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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