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Social preferences and lying aversion in children

Author

Listed:
  • Valeria Maggian

    (University of Milano-Bicocca)

  • Marie Claire Villeval

    (Université de Lyon
    CNRS
    IZA)

Abstract

While previous research has shown that social preferences develop in childhood, we study whether this development is accompanied by reduced use of deception when lies would harm others, and increased use of deception to benefit others. In a sample of children aged between 7 and 14, we find strong aversion to lying at all ages. Lying is driven mainly by selfish motives and envy. Children with stronger social preferences are less prone to deception, even when lying would benefit others at no monetary cost. Older children lie less than younger children and use self-justification to lie.

Suggested Citation

  • Valeria Maggian & Marie Claire Villeval, 2016. "Social preferences and lying aversion in children," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(3), pages 663-685, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:19:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1007_s10683-015-9459-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s10683-015-9459-7
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Lying aversion; Deception; Social preferences; Children; Experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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