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

  • Pablo Brañas-Garza

    (Universidad de Granada- España)

  • Juan C. Cárdenas

    (Universidad de los Andes- Colombia)

  • Máximo Rossi

    (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)

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 prosocial behavior. Lastly, we see that subjects’ expectations are crucial.

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File URL: http://decon.edu.uy/publica/2009/1609.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics - dECON in its series Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) with number 1609.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ude:wpaper:1609
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  1. John A. List & Imran Rasul, 2010. "Field Experiments in Labor Economics," NBER Working Papers 16062, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David Reiley & John List, 2008. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00091, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  7. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2008. "Sex and Risk: Experimental Evidence," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-09, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  8. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
  9. 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.
  10. 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, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  11. 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.
  12. Abigail Barr & Pieter Serneels, 2009. "Reciprocity in the workplace," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 99-112, March.
  13. Andreoni,J. & Vesterlund,L., 1998. "Which is the fair sex? : Gender differences in altruism," Working papers 10, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  14. 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.
  15. Jaromir Kovarik, 2007. "Belief Formation and Evolution in Public Good Games," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 016, University of Siena.
  16. Ananish Chaudhuri & Lata Gangadharn, 2003. "Gender Differences in Trust and Reciprocity," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 875, The University of Melbourne.
  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. Fernando Aguiar & Pablo Bra�as-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.
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