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Effects of Parental Background on Other-regarding Preferences in Children

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  • MIchal Bauer
  • Julie Chytilova
  • Barbara Pertold-Gebicka

Abstract

Other-regarding preferences are central for the ability to solve collective action problems and thus for society’s welfare. We study how the formation of other-regarding preferences during childhood is related to parental background. Using binary-choice dictator games to classify subjects into other-regarding types, we find that children of less educated parents are less altruistic and more spiteful. This link is robust to controlling for a range of child, family, and peer characteristics, and is attenuated for smarter children. The results suggest that less educated parents are either less efficient to instill social norms or their children less able to acquire them.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague in its series CERGE-EI Working Papers with number wp450.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp450

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Keywords: other-regarding preferences; altruism; spite; experiments with children; family background; education;

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  1. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis & Melissa Osborne Groves, 2008. "Introduction to Unequal Chances: Family Background and Economic Success
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  3. Sutter, Matthias & Kocher, Martin G. & Rützler, Daniela & Trautmann, Stefan T., 2010. "Impatience and Uncertainty: Experimental Decisions Predict Adolecents' Field Behavior," Discussion Papers in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 12114, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Christoph Bühren & Thorben C. Kundt, 2013. "Imagine Being a Nice Guy: A Note on Hypothetical vs. Incentivized Social Preferences," MAGKS Papers on Economics, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung) 201349, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

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