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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 instil 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

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 16107.

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Date of creation: Feb 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16107

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Keywords: Intergenerational Transmission; Signaling; Values;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Matteo Cervellati & Paolo Vanin, 2010. "”Thou shalt not covet ...”: Prohibitions, Temptation and Moral Values," Working Papers 2010.54, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2014. "Parenting with Style: Altruism and Paternalism in Intergenerational Preference Transmission," NBER Working Papers 20214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Adriani, Fabrizio & Sonderegger, Silvia, 2009. "Trust, Introspection, and Market Participation: an Evolutionary Approach," MPRA Paper 16110, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Fabrizio Adriani & Silvia Sonderegger, 2013. "Trust, Trustworthiness and the Consensus Effect: An Evolutionary Approach," Discussion Papers 2013-09, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  5. Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilová & Barbara Pertold-Gebicka, 2014. "Parental background and other-regarding preferences in children," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 24-46, March.
  6. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," NBER Working Papers 16512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Fabrizio Adriani & Silvia Sonderegger, 2013. "Signaling about norms: Socialization under strategic uncertainty," Discussion Papers 2013-11, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.

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