Why do some nations, such as the United States and Sweden, have booming nonprofit sectors, whereas other economically similar countries, such as Japan and Italy, do not?

A new study uncovers a surprising answer: It’s the women. The more empowered a country’s women, the more vibrant its nonprofit sector.

“Other research shows that women tend to be more altruistic, more prosocial, and less corrupt [than men],” explains study author Nuno S. Themudo, an assistant professor at the University of...

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