Gender differences in equilibrium play and strategic sophistication variability

M Cubel, Santiago Sanchez-Pages

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1 Citation (SciVal)
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We investigate the existence of gender differences in strategic sophistication in two weakly dominance solvable games where a prize is at stake. The first one is the two-person beauty contest, where strategies are numbers and players must perform mathematical operations. The second is the novel "gaze coach game", where strategies are photographs of the eye region and the two players must assign emotional states to
these images. We observe that females follow equilibrium play less often in the former game but not in the latter. Males display greater strategic sophistication variability. As a result, females are underrepresented among top performers in both games.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-299
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Early online date3 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the editor Lionel Page, two anonymous referees, Ayala Arad, Jordi Brandts, Christoph Bühren, Syngjoo Choi, Patricia Esteve-Gonzalez, Natassa Papadopoulou, Rosemarie Nagel, Lise Vesterlund and audiences at IMEBESS Florence, M-BEES Maastricht, SAET Faro, the TIBER Symposium and at the universities of the Balearic Islands, Granada, Kent, Lancaster, Middlesex and Rotterdam for their useful comments and suggestions. All remaining errors are completely ours. Both authors acknowledge financial support from the Spanish Ministry for Science and Innovation (grant ECO2015-66281-P).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Competition
  • Gender bias
  • Gender differences
  • Strategic sophistication
  • Variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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