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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 a group of Hispanic and African American families play a standard public goods game. The experimental data presents us with a surprising result. We find no significant correlation between the degree of cooperation of a child and that of his or her parents. Such lack of cooperation is robust across age groups, sex, family size and different estimation strategies. This contrasts with the typical assumption made by the theoretical economic literature on the inter-generational transmission of values. The absence of correlation between parents' and children's behaviour, however, is consistent with part of the psychological literature, which emphasizes the importance of peer effects in the socialization process.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6305.

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Date of creation: May 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6305

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Keywords: culture; public goods game; values;

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References

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  1. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
  2. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2009. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Good Experiments," Discussion Papers 2009-04, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
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  4. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe, 2006. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Risk and Trust Attitudes," IZA Discussion Papers 2380, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  6. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "Social Class and the Spirit of Capitalism," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 516-524, 04/05.
  7. Chaim Fershtman & Uri Gneezy, 2001. "Discrimination In A Segmented Society: An Experimental Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 351-377, February.
  8. Mason, Charles F. & Phillips, Owen R. & Redington, Douglas B., 1991. "The role of gender in a non-cooperative game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 215-235, March.
  9. Guido Tabellini, 2006. "Culture and institutions: economic development in the regions of Europe," Levine's Working Paper Archive 321307000000000241, David K. Levine.
  10. William Harbaugh & Kate Krause, 2000. "Children's altruism in public good and dictator experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00054, The Field Experiments Website.
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  14. Bornhorst, Fabian & Ichino, Andrea & Kirchkamp, Oliver & Schlag, Karl & Winter, Eyal, 2010. "Similarities and Differences when Building Trust: the Role of Cultures," CEPR Discussion Papers 7717, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Alesina, Alberto F & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2000. "Who Trusts Others?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2646, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Alvin E. Roth & V. Prasnikar & M. Okuno-Fujiwara & S. Zamir, 1998. "Bargaining and market behavior in Jerusalem, Liubljana, Pittsburgh and Tokyo: an experimental study," Levine's Working Paper Archive 344, David K. Levine.
  17. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst, 2002. "The Correlation of Welath Across Generations," NBER Working Papers 9314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  19. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2004. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange," NBER Working Papers 11005, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," DELTA Working Papers 97-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  21. Joseph Henrich & Robert Boyd & Samuel Bowles & Colin Camerer & Herbert Gintis & Richard McElreath & Ernst Fehr, 2001. "In search of homo economicus: Experiments in 15 small-scale societies," Artefactual Field Experiments 00068, The Field Experiments Website.
  22. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2007. "Social Capital as Good Culture," NBER Working Papers 13712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Fernández, Raquel, 2010. "Does Culture Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7965, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Bertocchi, Graziella, 2007. "The Enfranchisement of Women and the Welfare State," IZA Discussion Papers 2922, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. 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, vol. 124(2), pages 809-842, May.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. 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..
  9. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," NBER Working Papers 16512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Liam Delaney & Orla Doyle, 2008. "The Early Childhood Determinants Of Time Preferences," Working Papers 200834, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  11. Delaney, Liam & Doyle, Orla, 2012. "Socioeconomic differences in early childhood time preferences," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 237-247.

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