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The Importance of Being Marginal: Gender Differences in Generosity

Author

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefano DellaVigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier & Gautam Rao, 2013. "The Importance of Being Marginal: Gender Differences in Generosity," NBER Working Papers 18748, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18748
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stefano DellaVigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier, 2012. "Testing for Altruism and Social Pressure in Charitable Giving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 1-56.
    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 726-735, May.
    3. 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.
    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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    Cited by:

    1. Hoyer, Maximilian & Bault, Nadège & Loerakker, Ben & van Winden, Frans, 2014. "Destructive behavior in a Fragile Public Good game," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 295-299.
    2. Saima Naeem & Asad Zaman, 2014. "Gender and Ultimatum in Pakistan: Revisited," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 53(1), pages 1-14.
    3. Flory, Jeffrey A. & Gneezy, Uri & Leonard, Kenneth L. & List, John A., 2018. "Gender, age, and competition: A disappearing gap?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 256-276.
    4. Christine Exley, 2013. "Incentives for Prosocial Behavior: The Role of Reputations," Discussion Papers 12-022, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    5. Furtner, Nadja C. & Kocher, Martin G. & Martinsson, Peter & Matzat, Dominik & Wollbrant, Conny, 2016. "Gender and cooperative preferences on five continents," Discussion Papers in Economics 30226, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    6. repec:eee:jfinec:v:126:y:2017:i:3:p:543-562 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Lenka Fiala & Charles N. Noussair, 2017. "Charitable Giving, Emotions, And The Default Effect," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1792-1812, October.
    8. van Rijn, Jordan & Quinones, Esteban J. & Barham, Bradford L., 2017. "An Experimental Test of Gender Differences in Charitable Giving: Empathy Is at the Heart of the Matter," Staff Paper Series 586, University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    9. repec:eee:pubeco:v:158:y:2018:i:c:p:152-167 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:eee:soceco:v:74:y:2018:i:c:p:139-145 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. McGuinness, Paul B. & Vieito, João Paulo & Wang, Mingzhu, 2017. "The role of board gender and foreign ownership in the CSR performance of Chinese listed firms," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 75-99.
    12. Anya Samek, 2015. "Gender Differences in Job Entry Decisions: A University-Wide Field Experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00419, The Field Experiments Website.
    13. Maria Cristina Rossi & Dario Sansone & Costanza Torricelli & Arthur van Soest, 2018. "Household Preferences for Socially Responsible Investments," Centro Studi di Banca e Finanza (CEFIN) (Center for Studies in Banking and Finance) 0066, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia "Marco Biagi".
    14. Shachar Kariv & Daniel Lee & John List & Michael Price, 2016. "The Richness of Giving: Charity Selection and Charitable Gifts in a Large Field Experiment," Artefactual Field Experiments 00559, The Field Experiments Website.
    15. Schulz, Jonathan F. & Thiemann, Petra & Thöni, Christian, 2018. "Nudging generosity: Choice architecture and cognitive factors in charitable giving," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 139-145.
    16. Kevin Denny & Cormac Ó Gráda, 2016. "Immigration, Asylum, and Gender: Ireland and Beyond," Working Papers 201604, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    17. Maria Cristina Rossi & Dario Sansone & Costanza Torricelli & Arthur van Soest, 2018. "Household Preferences for Socially Responsible Investments," Centro Studi di Banca e Finanza (CEFIN) (Center for Studies in Banking and Finance) 18021, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia "Marco Biagi".
    18. Exley, Christine L. & Petrie, Ragan, 2018. "The impact of a surprise donation ask," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 152-167.
    19. repec:bla:coecpo:v:35:y:2017:i:1:p:216-231 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods

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