Gender-specific Reference-dependent Preferences in an Experimental Trust Game


We examine gender-specific reference-dependent preferences in a trust game experiment. Different participation fees and one question eliciting subjects' reference points were used to categorize subjects into three frames: the gain frame, gain or loss frame, and loss frame. We find that (i) men are risk-seeking in both the gain and the loss frame; (ii) women are not always more risk-averse than men; and (iii) women display other-regarding preferences only when they are in the gain frame. These results demonstrate the importance of taking account of both gender differences and reference-dependent preferences when examining individuals' economic behavior.


Reference-dependent preference, Gender difference, Trust game experiment, Risk preference, Other-regarding preference

JEL Classification

C72, C91


Faculty of International Studies, Hiroshima City University

Junyi SHEN
Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration,
Kobe University
Rokkodai-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe
657-8501 Japan
Phone: +81-78-803-7036
FAX: +81-78-803-7059
School of Economics, Shanghai University, China

Kazuhito OGAWA
Faculty of Sociology and Center for Experimental Economics, Kansai University