Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #578

That’s Just - not Fair: Gender Differences in Notions of Justice

by Nicole Becker, Kirsten Häger and Jan Heufer

RGS, TUD, 09/2015, 72 S./p., 10 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-668-0 DOI: 10.4419/86788668



In Becker et al. (2013a,b), we proposed a theory to explain giving behaviour in dictator experiments by a combination of selfishness and a notion of justice. The theory was tested using dictator, social planner, and veil of ignorance experiments. Here we analyse gender differences in preferences for giving and notions of justice in experiments using the same data. Similar to Andreoni and Vesterlund (2001), we find some differences in giving behaviour. We find even stronger differences in the notion of justice between men and women; women tend to be far more egalitarian. Using our preference decomposition approach from Becker et al. (2013a) and parametric estimates, we show that differences in the giving behaviour between men and women in dictator experiments are explained by differences in their notion of justice and not by different levels of selfishness. We employ both parametric and non-parametric techniques, and both methods confirm the result.

JEL-Classification: C91, D12, D61, D63

Keywords: Altruism; dictator games; distribution; experimental economics; gender diff erences; justice; social preferences