Are women less selfish than men? Evidence from dictator experiments

Catherine C. Eckel, Philip J. Grossman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

547 Citations (Scopus)


Research in social sciences other than economics indicates substantial differences in behaviour between men and women. The general conclusion drawn from this work is that women will be more socially-orientated (selfless), and men more individually-orientated (selfish). This paper reports the results of a double-anonymous dictator experiment designed to permit the emergence of basic gender differences in economic behaviour. Our results are intended to provide a baseline for further research. We find that women, on average, donate twice as much as men to their anonymous partners when any factors that might confound cooperation are eliminated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)726-735
Number of pages10
JournalThe Economic Journal
Issue number448
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998

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