Recent literature has emphasized that individuals display varying levels of strategic reasoning. This paper presents ten years worth of experimental data from two countries exploring the existence and endogeneity of gender differences in strategic sophistication. We report results from two experimental studies employing the beauty contest game, one from the classroom and one from the laboratory. We observe robust and significant gender differences in strategic sophistication in favour of men in zero-stake situations. These differences disappear when a monetary prize is awarded. We also find that depth of strategic reasoning varies with gender priming. Females display significantly higher levels of strategic sophistication than males when gender is made salient. This effect of gender priming is driven by females who believe women are superior in the game.
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- guessing game
- strategic sophistication
- stereotype threat