Experimental Economics

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 93–98 | Cite as

Are women expected to be more generous?

  • Fernando Aguiar
  • Pablo Brañas-GarzaEmail author
  • Ramón Cobo-Reyes
  • Natalia Jimenez
  • Luis M. Miller
Open Access


This paper analyzes if men and women are expected to behave differently regarding altruism. Since the dictator game provides the most suitable design for studying altruism and generosity in the lab setting, we use a modified version to study the beliefs involved in the game. Our results are substantial: men and women are expected to behave differently. Moreover, while women believe that women are more generous, men consider that women are as generous as men.


Dictator game Beliefs Expectations Generosity Gender 


C91 D64 J16 

Supplementary material


  1. Brañas-Garza, P. (2007). Promoting helping behavior with framing in dictator games. Journal of Economic Psychology, 28(4), 477–486. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Buchan, N., Croson, R. A., & Solnick, S. (2004). Trust and gender: an examination of behavior, biases and beliefs in the investment game (Working Paper). University of Wisconsin. Google Scholar
  3. Cooper, D. J., Kagel, J. H., Lo, W., & Gu, Q. L. (1999). Gaming against managers in incentive systems: experimental results with Chinese students and Chinese managers. American Economic Review, 89, 781–804. Google Scholar
  4. Cox, J., & Deck, C. (2006). When are women more generous than men? Economic Inquiry, 44(6), 587–598. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Croson, R., & Gneezy, U. (2006). Gender differences in preferences. The Wharton School, Mimeo. Google Scholar
  6. Eagly, A. H. (1995). The science and politics of comparing women and men. American Psychologist, 50, 145–158. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Eckel, C., & Grossman, P. J. (1998). Are women less selfish than men?: evidence from dictator experiments. The Economic Journal, 108, 726–735. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Eckel, C., & Grossman, P. (2002). Sex differences and statistical stereotyping in attitudes toward financial risk. Evolution and Human Behavior, 23(4), 281–295. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Eckel, C., & Grossman, P. J. (forthcoming). Men, women and risk aversion: experimental evidence. In: C. Plott & V. Smith (Eds.), Handbook of experimental economic results. New York: Elsevier. Google Scholar
  10. Falk, A., & Fehr, E. (2003). Why labour market experiments? Labour Economics, 10, 399–406. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fehr, E., & List, J. (2003). The hidden costs and returns of incentives-trust and trustworthiness among CEOs (WP 134). Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, University of Zurich, Zurich. Google Scholar
  12. Gneezy, U., Niederle, M., & Rustichini, A. (2003). Performance in competitive environments: gender differences. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 118(3), 1050–1074. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gneezy, U., & Rustichini, A. (2004). Gender and competition at a young age. American Economic Review, 94(2), 377–381. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Grimshaw, D., & Rubery, J. (2001). The gender pay gap: a research review. Research discussion series. Manchester: Equal Opportunities Commission. Google Scholar
  15. Niederle, M., & Vesterlund, L. (2007). Do women shy away from competition? Do men compete too much? The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 122(3), 1067–1101. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Slonim, R., & Garbarino, E. (forthcoming). Increases in trust and altruism from partner selection: experimental evidence. Experimental Economics. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Economic Science Association 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando Aguiar
    • 1
  • Pablo Brañas-Garza
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ramón Cobo-Reyes
    • 2
  • Natalia Jimenez
    • 2
  • Luis M. Miller
    • 3
  1. 1.IESA-CSICCórdobaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Teoría EconómicaUniversidad de GranadaGranadaSpain
  3. 3.IESA-CSIC and Strategic Interaction GroupMax Planck Institute of EconomicsJenaGermany

Personalised recommendations