The role of cognitive ability and personality traits for men and women in gift exchange outcomes

Emel Filiz-Ozbay, John C. Ham, John H. Kagel, Erkut Y. Ozbay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We examine the role of cognitive ability and personality traits in a gift exchange experiment. Controlling for cognitive ability and personality characteristics, men offer higher wages than women, and men and women with greater cognitive ability and greater agreeableness on the Big Five personality scale offer higher wages as well. Men provide greater effort than women do, and respond to higher wage rates with greater increases in effort. For both genders, one standard deviation increases in agreeableness and in wages generate similar increases in effort. Serious biases arise from omitting cognitive ability and pooling men and women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)650-672
Number of pages23
JournalExperimental Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018



  • Big five personality characteristics
  • Gift exchange experiment
  • SAT scores

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)

Cite this