Time is of the Essence: Gender Differences in Volunteering Behavior

Shaalan, Fatimah, Economics, University of Virginia
Shaalan, Fatimah, Arts & Sciences Graduate, University of Virginia

How does gender affect volunteer behavior within an experimental group setting? Within altruistic behavior literature, women tend to volunteer more than men. I further untangle the effect of gender on volunteering behavior. I examine volunteer behavior within an experiment that allows individuals to volunteer at little or as much as they would like to. Within groups, if a volunteering goal was reached the impact of the volunteer contribution was matched either at 100% or 25% rate. Individuals observed their group's behavior throughout the experiment to see if they reached the goal. Regardless of gender, individuals volunteered very little when the matching rate was low. Contrary to previous results, men volunteered more under this experiment design. Being a man significantly impacted the amount of volunteer contributions. Overall, male volunteer behavior echoed previous research that found that men tend to donate at extremes – either at a high rate or nothing at all.

MA (Master of Arts)
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