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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 instill 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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  • Adriani, Fabrizio & Sonderegger, Silvia, 2009. "Why do parents socialize their children to behave pro-socially? An information-based theory," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1119-1124, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:11-12:p:1119-1124
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    Cited by:

    1. Chakravarty, Abhishek, 2012. "Gender-discriminatory premarital investments, fertility preferences and breastfeeding in Egypt," Economics Discussion Papers 15987, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    2. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2017. "Parenting With Style: Altruism and Paternalism in Intergenerational Preference Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 1331-1371, September.
    3. Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm & Ye Zhang & David B. Estell & Neil H. Perdue, 2017. "Raising charitable children: the effects of verbal socialization and role-modeling on children’s giving," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(1), pages 189-224, January.
    4. Cervellati, Matteo & Vanin, Paolo, 2013. "“Thou shalt not covet”: Prohibitions, temptation and moral values," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 15-28.
    5. Adriani, Fabrizio & Sonderegger, Silvia, 2015. "Trust, trustworthiness and the consensus effect: An evolutionary approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 102-116.
    6. Alexandra Avdeenko & Thomas Siedler, 2017. "Intergenerational Correlations of Extreme Right-Wing Party Preferences and Attitudes toward Immigration," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 119(3), pages 768-800, July.
    7. Adriani, Fabrizio & Sonderegger, Silvia, 2009. "Trust, Introspection, and Market Participation: an Evolutionary Approach," MPRA Paper 16110, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," NBER Working Papers 16512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. repec:eee:jeborg:v:145:y:2018:i:c:p:511-529 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilová & Barbara Pertold-Gebicka, 2014. "Parental background and other-regarding preferences in children," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(1), pages 24-46, March.
    11. 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.
    12. Grout, Paul A. & Mitraille, Sébastien & Sonderegger, Silvia, 2015. "The costs and benefits of coordinating with a different group," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 517-535.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational transmission Signaling Values;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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