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Altruism in individual and joint-giving decisions: What's gender got to do with it?

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  • Linda Kamas
  • Anne Preston
  • Sandy Baum
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    Abstract

    This paper uses dictator experiments to examine gender differences in altruistic behavior in the United States when decisions are made individually and jointly. In anonymous individual giving to charity, women give substantially more than men, and in paired settings, mixed-sex groups give the most while all male pairs give the least. Evidence supports social information and negotiation effects as participants change giving toward that of their partners. Social image effects are found only in mixed-sex groups, indicating a gender-based component to the value of the social signal sent. Although men and women appear to have similar influence, the positive social image effect pushes giving in mixed-sex pairs above the sum of the members' individual gifts because the less altruistic partners (usually men) adjust their giving upward more than the more altruistic partners (usually women) reduce giving. Therefore, increasing women's participation in traditionally male spheres of decision making may result in more altruistic economic behavior.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Feminist Economics.

    Volume (Year): 14 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 23-50

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:14:y:2008:i:3:p:23-50

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    Related research

    Keywords: Altruism; gender; and experimental economics; JEL Codes: D64; J16; C92;

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    Cited by:
    1. repec:rdg:wpaper:em-dp2011-01 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Jean Kabongo & Kiyoung Chang & Ying Li, 2013. "The Impact of Operational Diversity on Corporate Philanthropy: An Empirical Study of U.S. Companies," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 116(1), pages 49-65, August.

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