Gender and beauty price discrimination in produce markets

Arie Sherman, Bradley J. Ruffle, Zeev Shtudiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

We design a field experiment to test for price discrimination at seemingly highly competitive Israeli produce markets. We trained 90 buyers and sent them to produce markets across Israel. After verifying a product's posted price, they asked for a discount on a one-kilogram or one-unit purchase. Predominantly male vendors employ third-degree price discrimination: women are offered larger and more frequent discounts than men, and the more attractive the female buyer, the larger and more frequent the discount offered. Male buyers do not benefit from this beauty discount. No other buyer characteristic is a significant predictor of the likelihood or size of a discount. To understand our findings, we provide a more nuanced view of these markets that includes search costs and considerable vendor price-setting discretion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101825
JournalJournal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics
Volume97
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Audit study
  • Beauty
  • Gender price discrimination
  • Negotiation
  • Price discounts
  • Search costs

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