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Do other-regarding preferences change with age? Evidence from a gift exchange experiment

  • Owens, Mark F.

A series of laboratory experiments investigate potential differences in other-regarding behavior by age of participant. Specifically, a gift exchange experiment is conducted with eighth graders, high school seniors, undergraduates, and working adults, all with similar observable demographic characteristics. All groups exhibit significant levels of gift exchange. Eighth graders exhibit significantly less gift exchange than other groups whereas the responses of other groups do not appear to differ. The findings indicate that other-regarding behavior is present, but still developing in adolescents and undergraduate subjects in gift exchange experiments exhibit similar behavior to adults with similar observable characteristics.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 868-878

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:40:y:2011:i:6:p:868-878
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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