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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

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

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2007. "Social Capital as Good Culture," Economics Working Papers, European University Institute ECO2007/57, European University Institute.
  2. Graziella Bertocchi, 2008. "The Enfranchisement of Women and the Welfare State," Center for Economic Research (RECent), University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics 018, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics.
  3. David Cesarini & Christopher T. Dawes & Magnus Johannesson & Paul Lichtenstein & Björn Wallace, 2009. "Genetic Variation in Preferences for Giving and Risk Taking," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 809-842, May.
  4. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," NBER Working Papers 16512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ronen Bar-El & Teresa García-Muñoz & Shoshana Neuman & Yossef Tobol, 2010. "The Evolution of Secularization: Cultural Transmission, Religion and Fertility. Theory, Simulations and Evidence," Papers on Economics of Religion, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada. 10/03, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  6. Delaney, Liam & Doyle, Orla, 2012. "Socioeconomic differences in early childhood time preferences," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 237-247.
  7. 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..
  8. Liam Delaney & Orla Doyle, 2008. "The Early Childhood Determinants Of Time Preferences," Working Papers, Geary Institute, University College Dublin 200834, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  9. Fernández, Raquel, 2010. "Does Culture Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 7965, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. 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, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 341-350.
  11. 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).

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