Show Details

Gender Bias & Online Sales

February 22, 2016

Buyers shell out a lot less in online auctions when the seller is female.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Is online shopping biased? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

When bidding in online auctions, the gender of the seller is irrelevant, right? Wrong, according to a new study in Science Advances. Researchers in Israel analyzed every transaction for over 400 of the most popular products sold on eBay over a 4-year period. They found that female sellers received fewer bids and commanded only 80 cents for every dollar that a male seller made on identical items, even though women had better online reputations. Sociologist Tamar Kricheli-Katz of Tel-Aviv University thinks the findings reflect larger economic disparities between the genders in society.

TAMAR KRICHELI-KATZ (Tel-Aviv University):

But there was a lot of variation across products, so for example, when women were selling toys and dolls, the gaps were smaller or even did not exist.

HIRSHON:

The team also found that women buyers pay more than men for identical products. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.