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Warm glow and the transmission of pro‐socialness across generations


  • Ngo Van Long


The transmission of pro‐socialness across generations is modeled using the warm‐glow approach. The parent generation seeks to cultivate pro‐social values in their children as this would improve their material well‐being when they grow up as cooperative adults. I show that communities endowed with more productive resources have a stronger incentive to teach their children social cooperation. Thus, there is a correlation between a village's level of material well‐being and villagers’ steady‐state level of pro‐socialness. When the cost of moral education is directly dependent on the parent generation's level of pro‐socialness, the multiplicity of steady states may emerge. If a community's initial level of pro‐socialness is high, the system will reach an interior steady state; in contrast, if this initial level is low, eventually the level of pro‐socialness will approach zero in the long run. Thus communities that start with similar initial levels of pro‐socialness may end up at drastically different steady states.

Suggested Citation

  • Ngo Van Long, 2020. "Warm glow and the transmission of pro‐socialness across generations," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 22(2), pages 371-387, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:22:y:2020:i:2:p:371-387
    DOI: 10.1111/jpet.12347

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    Cited by:

    1. Cassing, James H. & Long, Ngo Van, 2021. "Trade in trash: A political economy approach," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    2. Anja Brumme & Wolfgang Buchholz & Dirk Rübbelke, 2021. "The Purity of Impure Public Goods," CESifo Working Paper Series 8852, CESifo.

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