The Role of Expectations and Gender in Altruism
AbstractA central question in the study of altruism has been whether there is a systematic gender difference in giving behavior. Most experimental economics research has found that women are more generous than men. Evidence also suggests that gender differences depend upon the price of giving: males are more altruistic when the price of giving is low, while females are more altruistic when the price of giving is high. However, in the modified dictator game, a key variable in one’s decision to give is what one expects to receive. Systematic differences in those expectations may well contribute to systematic differences in altruistic behavior. We show that these expectations drive an important and widely reported result. When these expectations are homegrown, we replicate the finding. When expectations of receiving are uniform rather than homegrown, gender differences in price sensitivity disappear: males and females give equal amounts. This suggests that it is gender differences in expectations about others’ giving — not differences in tastes for fairness — that explains the previous results.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 19372.
Date of creation: 09 Dec 2009
Date of revision:
altruism; charitable giving; dictator game; gender differences; experiment;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
- D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-12-19 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2009-12-19 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2009-12-19 (Experimental Economics)
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.:
- Nagore Iriberri & Pedro Rey-Biel, 2008.
"The role of role uncertainty in modified dictator games,"
Economics Working Papers
1147, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2010.
- Nagore Iriberri & Pedro Rey-Biel, 2011. "The role of role uncertainty in modified dictator games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 160-180, May.
- Nagore Iriberri & Pedro Rey-Biel, 2009. "The Role of Role Uncertainty in Modified Dictator Games," Working Papers 406, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- Forsythe Robert & Horowitz Joel L. & Savin N. E. & Sefton Martin, 1994. "Fairness in Simple Bargaining Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 347-369, May.
- Karlan, Dean & List, John, 2006.
"Does Price Matter in Charitable Giving? Evidence from a Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment,"
13, Yale University, Department of Economics.
- Dean Karlan & John A. List, 2007. "Does Price Matter in Charitable Giving? Evidence from a Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1774-1793, December.
- Dean Karlan & John A. List, 2006. "Does Price Matter in Charitable Giving? Evidence from a Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment," Working Papers 1, The Field Experiments Website.
- Dean Karlan & John A. List, 2006. "Does Price Matter in Charitable Giving? Evidence From a Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 12338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dean Karlan & John List, 2006. "Does price matter in charitable giving? Evidence from a large-scale natural field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00279, The Field Experiments Website.
- 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.
- David Dickinson & J. Tiefenthaler, .
"What is fair? Experimental evidence,"
2000-04, Utah State University, Department of Economics.
- Raymond Fisman & Shachar Kariv & Daniel Markovits, 2005. "Individual Preferences for Giving," Game Theory and Information 0504007, EconWPA.
- Andreoni, James & Vesterlund, Lise, 2001.
"Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism,"
Staff General Research Papers
1951, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- James Andreoni & Lise Vesterlund, 2001. "Which Is The Fair Sex? Gender Differences In Altruism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 293-312, February.
- Andreoni,J. & Vesterlund,L., 1998. "Which is the fair sex? : Gender differences in altruism," Working papers 10, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Stephan Meier, 2007.
"Do Subsidies Increase Charitable Giving in the Long Run? Matching Donations in a Field Experiment,"
Journal of the European Economic Association,
MIT Press, vol. 5(6), pages 1203-1222, December.
- Stephan Meier, 2006. "Do subsidies increase charitable giving in the long run?: matching donations in a field experiment," Working Papers 06-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- Douglas Davis & Edward Millner & Robert Reilly, 2005. "Subsidy Schemes and Charitable Contributions: A Closer Look," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 85-106, June.
- Rigdon, Mary & Ishii, Keiko & Watabe, Motoki & Kitayama, Shinobu, 2008.
"Minimal Social Cues in the Dictator Game,"
8439, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Bolton, Gary E. & Katok, Elena, 1995. "An experimental test for gender differences in beneficent behavior," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(3-4), pages 287-292, June.
- Jeffrey Carpenter, 2002.
"Endogenouse Social Preferences,"
Middlebury College Working Paper Series
0209, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
- repec:feb:artefa:0046 is not listed on IDEAS
- Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
- Selten, Reinhard & Ockenfels, Axel, 1998. "An experimental solidarity game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 517-539, March.
- James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
- Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2003. "Rebate versus matching: does how we subsidize charitable contributions matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 681-701, March.
- Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "The relative price of fairness: gender differences in a punishment game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 143-158, August.
- Walter O. Simmons & Rosemarie Emanuele, 2007. "Male-female giving differentials: are women more altruistic?," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 34(6), pages 534-550, November.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.