Mating Strategies and Gender Differences in Pro-Sociality: Theory and Evidence

CESifo Economic Studies, 2011, doi:10.1093/cesifo/ifr020

GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 12-32

31 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2012

See all articles by Xiaofei Pan

Xiaofei Pan

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science (ICES)

Daniel Houser

George Mason University - Department of Economics; Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

This article examines gender differences in pro-sociality using theories from evolutionary psychology and empirical evidence from experimental economics. Although there has been extensive prior research in both fields, there remains a large disconnect between the source of gender differences in pro-sociality and experimental research aimed at informing cooperation and generosity. Thus, the main contribution of our article is to bridge this gap by arguing that differences in male and female motives for pro-sociality stem, at least in part, from gender differences in mating strategies. In particular, we discuss gender differences in: (i) signaling behaviors; (ii) conformance to social norms; and (iii) approaches toward resolving intra- and inter-group dilemmas. This article may be a useful resource for those hoping to gain a better understanding of the foundations of gender differences in pro-sociality; likewise, it draws useful attention to empirical research aimed at promoting charitable giving and enhancing resource allocation efficiency.

Keywords: welfare economics, pro-social behaviors, gender differences

JEL Classification: D03, D64

Suggested Citation

Pan, Xiaofei and Houser, Daniel, Mating Strategies and Gender Differences in Pro-Sociality: Theory and Evidence (2011). CESifo Economic Studies, 2011, doi:10.1093/cesifo/ifr020, GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 12-32, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2087136 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2087136

Xiaofei Pan (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

George Mason University - Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science (ICES) ( email )

400P Truland Building
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

Daniel Houser

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science ( email )

5th Floor, Vernon Smith Hall
George Mason University
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
7039934856 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://mason.gmu.edu/~dhouser/

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
72
Abstract Views
897
rank
413,837
PlumX Metrics