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Like mother like son? Experimental evidence on the transmission of values from parents to children

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  • Cipriani, Marco
  • Giuliano, Paola
  • Jeanne, Olivier

Abstract

This paper studies whether prosocial values are transmitted from parents to their children. We do so through an economic experiment in which children and their parents play a standard public goods game. The experimental data presents us with a surprising result. While we find significant heterogeneity in cooperative preferences in both parents and children, we cannot reject the null that the correlation between the degree of cooperation of a child and that of his or her parent is zero. That is, there is lack of evidence in our data that prosocial values are transmitted from parents to children. This finding is robust to the inclusion of demographic and socio-economic controls. Finally, parents show a significant degree of conditional cooperation, thus confirming the results of the existing experimental literature; such conditional cooperation is however absent in children.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 90 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 100-111

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:90:y:2013:i:c:p:100-111

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

Related research

Keywords: Cultural economics; Experimental economics; Cultural transmission; Economic values; Public goods game;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Collado, M. Dolores & Ortuño-Ortín, Ignacio & Romeu, Andrés, 2012. "Intergenerational linkages in consumption patterns and the geographical distribution of surnames," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 341-350.
  2. Bar-El, Ronen & García Muñoz, Teresa & Neuman, Shoshana & Tobol, Yossi, 2010. "The Evolution of Secularization: Cultural Transmission, Religion and Fertility Theory, Simulations and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 4980, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Bertocchi, Graziella, 2007. "The Enfranchisement of Women and the Welfare State," CEPR Discussion Papers 6396, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Necker, Sarah & Voskort, Andrea, 2013. "The evolution of German's values since reunification," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 13/13, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
  5. Liam Delaney & Orla Doyle, 2008. "The Early Childhood Determinants Of Time Preferences," Working Papers 200834, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  6. Fernández, Raquel, 2010. "Does Culture Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7965, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2007. "Social Capital as Good Culture," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/57, European University Institute.
  8. David, Cesarini & Dawes, Christopher T. & Johannesson, Magnus & Lichtenstein, Paul & Wallace, Björn, 2007. "Genetic Variation in Preferences for Giving and Risk-Taking," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 679, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 12 Jan 2009.
  9. Delaney, Liam & Doyle, Orla, 2012. "Socioeconomic differences in early childhood time preferences," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 237-247.
  10. Cameron, Lisa A. & Erkal, Nisvan & Gangadharan, Lata & Zhang, Marina, 2012. "Cultural Integration: Experimental Evidence of Changes in Immigrants' Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 6467, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," NBER Working Papers 16512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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