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Cooperativeness and competitiveness in children

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  • Cárdenas, Juan Camilo
  • Dreber, Anna
  • von Essen, Emma
  • Ranehill, Eva

Abstract

Cooperation and competition are both essential elements of economic life. Here we explore how cooperativeness in a prisoner's dilemma correlates with competitiveness in a sample of 9–12 years old children in Colombia and Sweden. Using two different measures and four different tasks for competitiveness, we find no consistent relationship between cooperativeness and competitiveness. However, we find evidence of a negative relationship between willingness to compete in a math task and cooperativeness in the overall sample. Competitiveness in math has previously been related to educational choices, and may therefore be the most economically relevant relationship.

Suggested Citation

  • Cárdenas, Juan Camilo & Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Ranehill, Eva, 2015. "Cooperativeness and competitiveness in children," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 32-41.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:59:y:2015:i:c:p:32-41
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2015.09.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Florian Hett & Mario Mechtel & Henning Müller & Felix Schmidt & Daniel Schunk & Valentin Wagner, 2018. "Do Children Cooperate Conditionally? Adapting the Strategy Method for First-Graders," Working Papers 1803, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cooperation; Competitiveness; Experiment; Children;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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