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The Importance of Being Marginal: Gender Differences in Generosity

  • Stefano DellaVigna
  • John A. List
  • Ulrike Malmendier
  • Gautam Rao

Do men and women have different social preferences? Previous findings are contradictory. We provide a potential explanation using evidence from a field experiment. In a door-to-door solicitation, men and women are equally generous, but women become less generous when it becomes easy to avoid the solicitor. Our structural estimates of the social preference parameters suggest an explanation: women are more likely to be on the margin of giving, partly because of a less dispersed distribution of altruism. We find similar results for the willingness to complete an unpaid survey: women are more likely to be on the margin of participation.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18748.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Publication status: published as Stefano DellaVigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier & Gautam Rao, 2013. "The Importance of Being Marginal: Gender Differences in Generosity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 586-90, May.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18748
Note: LS PE
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  1. Stefano DellaVigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier, 2009. "Testing for Altruism and Social Pressure in Charitable Giving," NBER Working Papers 15629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. repec:feb:framed:0087 is not listed on IDEAS
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