Gender differences in preferences: a representative sample study

Project leader

Funding source

Forte - Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2011
End date: 31/12/2012
Funding: 5060000 SEK


Women in most Western countries are today more economically and politically powerful than ever. Nevertheless, men occupy the majority of top positions in most countries and in most sectors, and systematically enjoy higher salaries even when controlling for observable characteristics such as education and work experience. This unexplained gender gap is often interpreted as due to discrimination. However, differences in labor market outcomes could also be due to gender differences in preferences. Recent research in behavioral economics suggests that there might be gender differences in economic preferences regarding competition, risk and redistribution. Most experimental studies of gender differences in preferences use university students as participants. In order to increase our understanding of gender differences in preferences there is a need for an extensive study on a more generalizable population, such as a representative sample, where variations in the context are systematically explored.

The project explores gender differences in economic preferences in a representative sample. Most experimental studies in economics of gender differences in preferences use university students, while the ideal population to study is a representative sample. The proposed project will explore gender differences in preferences in a representative sample in aspects such as age, gender, income etc. The project will explore gender differences in a number of different important economic preferences.

We will use a battery of standard games typically used in experimental economics, as well as common measures of risk preferences, competition and time preferences. The methods we use are well established within both Economics and Psychology and we draw a representative sample were participation is voluntary. The researchers ensure anonymity and guarantee confidentiality in handling the data.

Last updated on 2017-29-03 at 17:13