Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Norwegian University of Life Sciences, School of Economics and Business

No 04-2015: Generosity and sharing among villagers: Do women give more?

Sosina Bezu and Stein Holden ()
Additional contact information
Sosina Bezu: School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Postal: Norwegian University of Life Sciences, School of Economics and Business, P.O. Box 5003 NMBU, N-1432 Ås, Norway
Stein Holden: School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Postal: Norwegian University of Life Sciences, School of Economics and Business, P.O. Box 5003 NMBU, N-1432 Ås, Norway

Abstract: This paper explores generosity among anonymous villagers and sharing within families using a dictator game field experiment that was carried out in rural villages in Ethiopia. We find that generosity among anonymous villagers is very low compared with the findings in the dictator game literature. On average, the dictators in our sample allocate only 6% of their endowments to anonymous persons in the village, and three-fourths of the dictators keep all of their endowments to themselves when paired with anonymous persons. However, we found very high levels of sharing between husband and wife. In terms of gender differences, we find that women are not more generous towards anonymous persons, nor are they more likely to share within their families. In fact, there is some evidence, albeit weak, showing that women allocate less to anonymous persons than do men. Additionally, there is strong evidence that women are less likely to share their resources with their spouse than are men.

Keywords: Dictator game; generosity; sharing; field experiment; Ethiopia; Africa

JEL-codes: C93; D03; O12

29 pages, March 12, 2015

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