Are Women More Generous Than Men? A Meta-Analysis

37 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2020

See all articles by David Bilén

David Bilén

University of Gothenburg

Anna Dreber

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics

Magnus Johannesson

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics

Date Written: April 16, 2020

Abstract

We perform a meta analysis of gender differences in the dictator game (DG) by collecting raw data from 53 studies with 115 conditions, giving us 14,936 unique individual observations. We find that women on average give 4.2 percentage points more than men (Cohen's d=0.17), and that this difference decreases to 3.2 percentage points (Cohen's d=0.13) if we exclude studies where dictators can only give all or nothing. The gender difference is larger if the recipient in the DG is a charity, compared to the standard DG with an anonymous individual as the recipient (a 10.9 versus a 2.5 percentage points gender difference). These effect sizes imply that many individual studies on gender differences are underpowered; the median power in our sample of standard DG studies is only 9% to detect the meta-analytic gender difference at the 5% significance level. Moving forward on this topic, sample sizes should thus be substantially larger than what has been the norm in the past.

Keywords: Dictator game, altruism, gender difference, meta-analysis

JEL Classification: C91, D9

Suggested Citation

Bilén, David and Dreber, Anna and Johanneson, Magnus, Are Women More Generous Than Men? A Meta-Analysis (April 16, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3578038 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3578038

David Bilén (Contact Author)

University of Gothenburg ( email )

Box 720
Gothenburg, S405 30
Sweden

Anna Dreber

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 6501
Sveavagen 65
S-113 83 Stockholm
Sweden

Magnus Johanneson

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 6501
Sveavagen 65
S-113 83 Stockholm
Sweden
+46 8 736 9443 (Phone)

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