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Parental background and other-regarding preferences in children

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  • Michal Bauer
  • Julie Chytilová

    ()

  • Barbara Pertold-Gebicka

Abstract

Other-regarding preferences are important for establishing and maintaining cooperative outcomes. In this paper, we study how the formation of other-regarding preferences during childhood is related to parental background. Our subjects, aged 4–12 years, are classified into other-regarding types based on simple binary-choice dictator games. The main finding is that the children of parents with low education are less altruistic, more selfish, and more likely to be weakly spiteful. This link is robust to controlling for a rich set of children’s characteristics and class fixed effects. It also stands out against the overall development of preferences, as we find children to become more altruistic, less selfish, and less likely to be weakly spiteful with increasing age. The results, supported by a complementary analysis of World Values Survey data, suggest an important role of socialization in the formation of other-regarding preferences. Copyright Economic Science Association 2014

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 17 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 24-46

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Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:17:y:2014:i:1:p:24-46

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102888

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Keywords: Other-regarding preferences; Altruism; Selfishness; Children; Family background; Field experiment; C93; D03; D64; I24;

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Cited by:
  1. Kim, Byung-Yeon & Choi, Syngjoo & Lee, Jungmin & Lee, Sokbae & Choi, Kyunghui, 2013. "Do Institutions Affect Social Preferences? Evidence from Divided Korea," IZA Discussion Papers 7567, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Kirsten Häger & Bastiaan Oud & Daniel Schunk, 2012. "Egalitarian Envy: Cross-cultural Variation in the Development of Envy in Children," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-059, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  3. Ulrik H. Nielsen, 2014. "Parents' Education and their Adult Offspring's Other-Regarding Behavour," Discussion Papers 14-03, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  4. Almås, Ingvild & Cappelen, Alexander W. & Salvanes, Kjell G. & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2014. "Willingness to Compete: Family Matters," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 3/2014, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics.

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