Recently, Xinlei Chen’s (Professor of Marketing at SAIF) paper “Does Concealing Gender Identity Help Women Win the Competition? An Empirical Investigation into Online Video Games” has been accepted for publication in Marketing Science(MS).
Marketing Scienceis one of the top 24 international journals in Economics and Management (based at UT-Dallas) and was ranked as one of the top 50 business school journals by the Financial Times.
The paper’s co-authors are Xiaohua Zeng (Associate Professor of Marketing at Peking University HSBC Business School), and Cheng Chang (Professor and Chair of the Department of Information Management and Information Systems at Fudan University School of Management). The gender gap is a widespread phenomenon in human society, especially within the labor market. It includes the difference between men and women in income, promotion opportunities, and the scarcity of women in management.
Xinlei Chen said that he has been thinking about this issue for many years, but is constrained by real conditions. “Gender differences can be caused by a variety of factors, such as differences in ability between men and women, differences in inputs, different preferences for competition, and gender discrimination, which is a major concern in society… These intertwined factors make it complex to study the problem and analyze the data. Conventional experimental tools are often difficult to work as well.”
The prevalence of virtual worlds such as online games brought a new opportunity for this research. He has since been able to study how gender bias leads to gender gaps by using data from players of an online game that has been popular in China, in recent years, as a data sample.
The study shows that men are indeed influenced by gender bias in competition and their performance improves when competing with women, while women can reduce the negative effects of gender bias to some extent by masking or misrepresenting their gender information.
Professor Chen suggested that people should be aware of the existence of gender bias and take the initiative to reduce bias, and that we should diminish the gender gap gradually by strengthening group collaboration.