Are Women Less Likely to Ask than Men Partly Because They Work Fewer Hours? A Commentary on Artz et al. (2018)


  • Jens Mazei TU Dortmund University
  • Joachim Hüffmeier TU Dortmund University



gender, sex, negotiation, bargaining, gender gap


A long debate in negotiation research concerns the question of whether gender differences in the propensity to initiate negotiations, in behaviors shown during negotiations, and in negotiation performance actually exist. Whereas past negotiation research suggested that women are less likely to initiate negotiations than men, a recent study by Artz et al. (2018) seems to suggest that women are as likely as men to “ask” for higher pay. However, this finding by Artz et al. (2018) was obtained once the number of weekly hours worked was added as a covariate in the statistical analysis. Following extant work, we suggest that the number of weekly hours worked could be—and, from a theoretical stand-point, perhaps should be—considered a mediator of gender differences. Conducting a Monte Carlo analysis based on the results and statistics provided by Artz et al. (2018) also yielded empirical evidence suggesting that weekly hours could be a mediator. Thus, women may be less likely than men to ask for higher pay, among other potential reasons, because they work fewer weekly hours. Based on this alternative conceptualization of the role of weekly hours, our commentary has theoretical implications for the understanding of gender differences in the propensity to initiate negotiations and practical implications for the effective reduction of gender inequalities.


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