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Why do parents socialize their children to behave pro-socially? An information-based theory

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  • Adriani, Fabrizio
  • Sonderegger, Silvia

Abstract

We present a model of intergenerational transmission of pro-social values in which parents have information about relevant characteristics of society that is not directly available to their children. Differently from existing models of cultural transmission of values (such as [Bisin and Verdier, 2001] and [Tabellini, 2008]) we assume that parents are exclusively concerned with their children's material welfare. If parents coordinate their educational choices, a child would look at her system of values to predict the values of her contemporaries, with whom she may interact. A parent may thus choose to instill pro-social values into his child in order to signal to her that others can generally be trusted. This implies that parents may optimally decide to endow their children with values that stand in contrast with maximization of material welfare, even if their children's material welfare is all they care about.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 93 (2009)
Issue (Month): 11-12 (December)
Pages: 1119-1124

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:11-12:p:1119-1124

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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Keywords: Intergenerational transmission Signaling Values;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2014. "Parenting with Style: Altruism and Paternalism in Intergenerational Preference Transmission," Working Papers, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group 2014-013, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  2. Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilová & Barbara Pertold-Gebicka, 2012. "Parental Background and Other-Regarding Preferences in Children," Working Papers IES, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies 2012/10, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Apr 2012.
  3. Fabrizio Adriani & Silvia Sonderegger, 2013. "Trust, Trustworthiness and the Consensus Effect: An Evolutionary Approach," Discussion Papers, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham 2013-09, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  4. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," NBER Working Papers 16512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Cervellati, Matteo & Vanin, Paolo, 2013. ""Thou Shalt Not Covet ...": Prohibitions, Temptation and Moral Values," IZA Discussion Papers 7334, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Adriani, Fabrizio & Sonderegger, Silvia, 2009. "Trust, Introspection, and Market Participation: an Evolutionary Approach," MPRA Paper 16110, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Fabrizio Adriani & Silvia Sonderegger, 2013. "Signaling about norms: Socialization under strategic uncertainty," Discussion Papers, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham 2013-11, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.

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