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The widow's offering: Inheritance, family structure, and the charitable gifts of women

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  • McGranahan, Leslie
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    Abstract

    Researchers and commentators have compared men and women's charitable giving patterns and have concluded that one sex was more generous than the other. Most research based on modern data has found women to be more philanthropic than men. In this article, I compare charitable donations of unmarried men and women in a sample of wills from 17th Century England. I find that men are more likely to make donations than women and make larger average donations. This difference in giving can be explained by differences in wealth and family structure and should not be ascribed to differences in charitable impulses.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6WFJ-4W3PT7F-1/2/c3692a8d5de4423c27c290809fc6dbec
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

    Volume (Year): 46 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (July)
    Pages: 356-367

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:46:y:2009:i:3:p:356-367

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

    Related research

    Keywords: Charitable bequests Bequests Altruism Gender differences Charitable giving Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. James Andreoni & Eleanor Brown & Isaac C. Rischall, . "Charitable Giving by Married Couples: Who Decides and Why Does it Matter?," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 32, McMaster University.
    2. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 1998. "Are Women Less Selfish Than Men? Evidence from Dictator Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 726-35, May.
    3. Andreoni,J. & Vesterlund,L., 1998. "Which is the fair sex? : Gender differences in altruism," Working papers 10, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    4. Leslie Moscow McGranahan, 2000. "Charity and the Bequest Motive: Evidence from Seventeenth-Century Wills," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1270-1291, December.
    5. Gregory Clark & Gillian Hamilton, 2006. "Survival of the Richest: The Malthusian Mechanism in Pre-Industrial England," Working Papers 615, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    6. Rooney, Patrick M. & Mesch, Debra J. & Chin, William & Steinberg, Kathryn S., 2005. "The effects of race, gender, and survey methodologies on giving in the US," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 173-180, February.
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    Cited by:
    1. Di Matteo, Livio, 2013. "Women, wealth and economic change: An assessment of the impact of women's property law in Wentworth County, Ontario, 1872–1927," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 285-307.

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