The Importance of Being Marginal: Gender Differences in Generosity

25 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2013

See all articles by Stefano DellaVigna

Stefano DellaVigna

University of California, Berkeley; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

John A. List

University of Chicago - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Ulrike Malmendier

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Gautam Rao

University of California, Berkeley

Date Written: February 2013

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

DellaVigna, Stefano and List, John A. and Malmendier, Ulrike and Rao, Gautam, The Importance of Being Marginal: Gender Differences in Generosity (February 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w18748, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2210768

Stefano DellaVigna (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

Economics Department
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Berkeley, CA 94720
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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John A. List

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Ulrike Malmendier

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

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Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States
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(510) 642-6615 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.berkeley.edu/~ulrike/

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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Gautam Rao

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

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Berkeley, CA 94720
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