Share and share alike? Gender-pairing, personality, and cognitive ability as determinants of giving

Avner Ben-Ner, Fanmin Kong, Louis Putterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


We conduct dictator game experiments in which women and men are allowed to split $10 with a completely unknown person or a person of known gender. Subjects also complete personality and cognitive tests. We find that (a) gender information significantly affects giving only in the case of women, who give systematically less to women than to men and persons of unknown gender; (b) largely on account of this difference, women give less than men on average, although the difference is not statistically significant; and (c) giving is significantly explained, especially for women, by personality measures and the cognition score.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-589
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank John Dickhaut for his help in designing the experiment, and Dan Magan and Shu-yi Oei for their help in carrying out the experiment, which was funded by the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the American Economics Association panel on Economics, Values and Organization, Allied Social Sciences Association meetings, Chicago, January 1998. We thank many readers, seminar and conference participants for useful comments, and the editor and referees of this journal for help in focusing the paper.


  • Altruism
  • Dictator game
  • Gender
  • Giving


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