Women and Men are Different but Equal: Observations of Learning Behavior in Auctions

We examined gender differences in bidding and learning behavior in Second Price Auctions (SPAs). Although bidding one’s true value is a weakly dominant strategy in SPAs, overbidding has been common and persistent in laboratory SPAs, i.e., bidding above one’s value. In our study, we found that inexperienced women overbid more than inexperienced men when they were provided with endowment money in the auctions. However, when participants were asked to bid using their own money, women became more cautious, bidding lower and closer to the optimal strategy (true value) even without experiences, while inexperienced men still overbid significantly deviating from the optimal strategy. As men gained more experiences, they learned from costly overbidding and eventually lowered their bids to the same level as those of women’s bids. In conclusion, we found that although women and men initially behaved differently in SPAs, both genders would eventually bid according to the optimal strategy and obtain the same outcome given sufficient learning experiences.

Issue Date:
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
Record Identifier:
PURL Identifier:
Page range:
Total Pages:
JEL Codes:
A1; C91; D44; D83; J16
Series Statement:

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

Download fulltext

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)