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Gender, education and reciprocal generosity: Evidence from 1,500 experiment subjects

Author

Listed:
  • Pablo Brañas-Garza

    (Universidad de Granada)

  • Juan C. Cárdenas

    (Universidad de los Andes)

  • Máximo Rossi

    (Universidad de la República, Uruguay)

Abstract

There is not general consensus about if women are more or less generous than men. Although the number of papers supporting more generous females is a bit larger than the opposed it is not possible to establish any definitive and systematic gender bias. This paper provides new evidence on this topic using a unique experimental dataset. We used data from a field experiment conducted under identical conditions (and monetary payoffs) in 6 Latin American cities, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Lima, Montevideo and San José. Our dataset amounted to 3,107 experimental subjects who played the Trust Game. We will analyze the determinants of behavior of second movers, that is, what determines reciprocal generosity. In sharp contrast to previous papers we found that males are more generous than females. In the light of this result, we carried out a systematic analysis of individual features (income, education, age, etc.) for females and males separately. We found differential motivations for women and men. Third, we see that (individual) education enhances pro-social behavior. Lastly, we see that subjects’ expectations are crucial.

Suggested Citation

  • Pablo Brañas-Garza & Juan C. Cárdenas & Máximo Rossi, 2009. "Gender, education and reciprocal generosity: Evidence from 1,500 experiment subjects," Working Papers 128, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  • Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2009-128
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    File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2009-128.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
    2. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    3. Hugo Ñopo & Alberto Chong & Juan Camilo Cardenas, 2008. "Stated Social Behavior and Revealed Actions: Evidence from Six Latin American Countries Using Representative Samples," Research Department Publications 4575, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    4. Keser, Claudia & van Winden, Frans, 2000. " Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 23-39, March.
    5. James Andreoni & Lise Vesterlund, 2001. "Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 293-312.
    6. Jaromir Kovarik, 2007. "Belief Formation and Evolution in Public Good Games," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 016, University of Siena.
    7. Ana Leon-Mejia & Luis M. Miller, 2007. "The Devil is in the Details - Sex Differences in Simple Bargaining Games," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-069, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    8. List, John A. & Rasul, Imran, 2011. "Field Experiments in Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    9. Nancy Buchan & Rachel Croson, 1999. "Gender and Culture: International Experimental Evidence from Trust Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 386-391, May.
    10. Chaudhuri, Ananish & Gangadharan, Lata, 2003. "Gender Differences in Trust and Reciprocity," Working Papers 136, Department of Economics, The University of Auckland.
    11. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
    12. Fernando Aguiar & Pablo Brañas-Garza & Luis M. Miller, 2008. "Moral distance in dictator games," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 3, pages 344-354, April.
    13. 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.
    14. Abigail Barr & Pieter Serneels, 2009. "Reciprocity in the workplace," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(1), pages 99-112, March.
    15. Hoddinott, John & Haddad, Lawrence, 1995. "Does Female Income Share Influence Household Expenditures? Evidence from Cote d'Ivoire," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 77-96, February.
    16. Pablo Brañas-Garza & Shoshana Neuman, 2007. "Parental religiosity and daughters’ fertility: the case of Catholics in southern Europe," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 305-327, September.
    17. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
    18. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Selim Jürgen Ergun & Teresa García-Muñoz & M.Fernanda Rivas, 2010. "Gender Differences in Economic Experiments," ThE Papers 10/14, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Reciprocal altruism; gender; education;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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