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When Are Women More Generous than Men?

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  • James C. Cox
  • Cary A. Deck

Abstract

Previous research on gender differences in behavior has led to seemingly contradictory findings about generosity. From data generated by 290 subject pairs, we find that women are more sensitive than men to the costs of generous actions when deciding whether to be generous. The factors that affect the level of generosity observed in our experiments are reciprocal motivation, the level of money payoffs, and the level of social distance in the experimental protocol. The relatively greater sensitivity of women to the costs of generous behavior can explain most of the apparent inconsistencies in previously reported findings. (JEL C70, C91, D63, D64) Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • James C. Cox & Cary A. Deck, 2006. "When Are Women More Generous than Men?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(4), pages 587-598, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:44:y:2006:i:4:p:587-598
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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