Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics

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 73% 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.

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