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