Allocation criteria under task performance: the gendered preference for protection

Becchetti LeonardoDegli Antoni GiacomoOttone StefaniaSolferino Nazaria
CEIS Research Paper
We device a randomized experiment with task performance in which players directly decide allocation criteria (with/without) veil of ignorance on payoff distribution under different criteria in a stakeholder/spectator position. Our main result is a strong and significant gender effect: women choose significantly more protection (that is, they choose criteria in which a part or all the total sum of money that must be allocated among participants is equally distributed) before (but not after) the removal of the veil of ignorance. They also reveal less overconfidence and significantly higher civicness and inequality aversion in ex post questionnaire responses, even though such differences are not enough to fully capture our main result. The puzzle when interpreting it is that the gendered preference for protection exists not only for stakeholders but also for spectators while it disappears for both once we remove the veil of ignorance. This makes it impossible to explain it exclusively with risk or competition aversion.
Number: 214
Keywords: Distributive Justice; Gender Effects; Risk Aversion; Competition Aversion; Veil of Ignorance.
JEL codes: C91, D63, J16
Date: Monday 24 October 2011
Revision Date: Monday 24 October 2011