See Male Sellers on eBay Have an Edge Over Women, Study Finds
. By PAM BELLUCK of the NY Times. Excerpts:
"on average, when men and women with equal selling reputations sold the same products, women received lower prices than men."
"The difference was far less pronounced for used items: Women sellers
received about 97 cents for every dollar men received. But with new
items, where the authors say direct comparison is easier, women received
about 80 cents on average for every dollar men sellers received."
"“The basic point — that people have different expectations of women
versus men and so we treat them very differently in the world — it’s
fascinating and depressing,” said Linda Babcock, an economics professor
at Carnegie Mellon University, who was not involved in the study."
study did not paint a universally negative picture for women. For some
items, like toys and pet products, women received somewhat higher prices
than men. And women tended to have better reputations as sellers,
although they tended to have less selling experience.
did the study, which controlled for seller reputation, experience,
number of photos, use of bold lettering and other elements, indicate
that buyers were actively or even consciously discriminating. Male and
female buyers appeared to treat women sellers the same, the authors
"We actually think that most of it is unconscious,” said Tamar
Kricheli-Katz, a professor of law and sociology at Tel Aviv University,
who conducted the study with Tali Regev, an economist at IDC Herzliya."
researchers conducted an experiment to see if people could tell the
gender of sellers from user profiles. People guessed correctly in 1,127
of 2,000 cases, wrong in 170 and did not know the rest.
another experiment, the researchers asked people to place value on a
$100 Amazon gift card sold by someone named either Alison or Brad. On
average, Alison’s gift card was valued at $83.34, while Brad’s was
valued at $87.42.
Goldin, a Harvard economist and expert on gender wage gaps, said the
study was intriguing but needed more analysis. “Just perceiving that
somebody’s a woman, what exactly does it mean?” she asked. “It’s got to
mean something about the quality of the good or service or something
that’s not captured in the data that they have.”"