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Socio-Economic Status and Inequalities in Children's IQ and Economic Preferences

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  • Armin Falk
  • Fabian Kosse
  • Pia Pinger
  • Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch
  • Thomas Deckers

Abstract

This paper explores inequalities in IQ and economic preferences between children from high and low socio-economic status (SES) families. We document that children from high SES families are more intelligent, patient and altruistic, as well as less risk-seeking. To understand the underlying causes and mechanisms, we propose a framework of how parental investments as well as maternal IQ and economic preferences influence a child’s IQ and preferences. Within this framework, we allow SES to influence both the level of parental time and parenting style investments, as well as the productivity of the investment process. Our results indicate that disparities in the level of parental investments hold substantial importance for SES gaps in economic preferences and, to a lesser extent, IQ. In light of the importance of IQ and preferences for behaviors and outcomes, our findings offer an explanation for social immobility.

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  • Armin Falk & Fabian Kosse & Pia Pinger & Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch & Thomas Deckers, 2019. "Socio-Economic Status and Inequalities in Children's IQ and Economic Preferences," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2019_111, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:bon:boncrc:crctr224_2019_111
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    Cited by:

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    2. Chowdhury, Shyamal & Sutter, Matthias & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2018. "Evaluating intergenerational persistence of economic preferences: A large scale experiment with families in Bangladesh," MERIT Working Papers 2018-008, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    3. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Dahmann, Sarah Christina & Kamhöfer, Daniel A. & Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah, 2019. "Self-control: Determinants, life outcomes and intergenerational implications," DICE Discussion Papers 319, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    4. Dasgupta, Utteeyo & Mani, Subha & Sharma, Smriti & Singhal, Saurabh, 2020. "Social Identity, Behavior, and Personality: Evidence from India," IZA Discussion Papers 13515, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Fabian Kosse & Thomas Deckers & Pia Pinger & Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch & Armin Falk, 2020. "The Formation of Prosociality: Causal Evidence on the Role of Social Environment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(2), pages 434-467.
    6. Blanco, M. & Dalton, Patricio, 2019. "Generosity and Wealth : Experimental Evidence from Bogota Stratification," Other publications TiSEM 732a238e-a6d3-428b-a062-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    7. Samek, Anya & Gray, Andre & Datar, Ashlesha & Nicosia, Nancy, 2021. "Adolescent time and risk preferences: Measurement, determinants and field consequences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 460-488.
    8. Maria Zumbuehl & Thomas Dohmen & Gerard Pfann, 2018. "Parental Involvement and the Intergenerational Transmission of Economic Preferences and Attitudes," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2018_022, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
    9. Maria Zumbuehl & Thomas Dohmen & Gerard Pfann, 2020. "Parental Involvement and the Intergenerational Transmission of Economic Preferences, Attitude and Personality Traits," ECONtribute Discussion Papers Series 027, University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany.
    10. Mark Gradstein, . "Cultural Attributes, Income Inequality, and Ethnic Differentials," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Sutter, Matthias & Untertrifaller, Anna, 2020. "Children's heterogeneity in cooperation and parental background: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 286-296.
    12. Linus Mattauch & Cameron Hepburn & Nicholas Stern, 2018. "Pigou Pushes Preferences: Decarbonisation and Endogenous Values," CESifo Working Paper Series 7404, CESifo.
    13. Lena Detlefsen & Andreas Friedl & Katharina Lima de Miranda & Ulrich Schmidt & Matthias Sutter, 2018. "Are economic preferences shaped by the family context? The impact of birth order and siblings’ sex composition on economic preferences," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2018_12, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    14. Sutter, Matthias & Zoller, Claudia & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela, 2019. "Economic behavior of children and adolescents – A first survey of experimental economics results," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 98-121.
    15. Tim Friehe & Markus Pannenberg, 2020. "Time preferences and political regimes: evidence from reunified Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(1), pages 349-387, January.
    16. Bašić, Zvonimir & Falk, Armin & Kosse, Fabian, 2020. "The development of egalitarian norm enforcement in childhood and adolescence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 667-680.
    17. Andreoni, James & Di Girolamo, Amalia & List, John A. & Mackevicius, Claire & Samek, Anya, 2020. "Risk preferences of children and adolescents in relation to gender, cognitive skills, soft skills, and executive functions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 729-742.
    18. Nicoletti, Cheti & Tonei, Valentina, 2020. "Do parental time investments react to changes in child’s skills and health?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    19. Michalis Drouvelis & Johannes Lohse, 2020. "Cognitive abilities and risk taking: the role of preferences," Discussion Papers 20-02, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    20. Dániel Horn & Hubert János Kiss & Tünde Lénárd, 2021. "Gender differences in preferences of adolescents: evidence from a large-scale classroom experiment," CERS-IE WORKING PAPERS 2103, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
    21. Utteeyo Dasgupta & Subha Mani & Smriti Sharma & Saurabh Singhal, 2020. "Social Identity, Behavior, and Personality," Working Papers 308280016, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    22. Timo Heinrich & Jason Shachat, 2020. "The development of risk aversion and prudence in Chinese children and adolescents," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 61(3), pages 263-287, December.

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    10. Shyamal Chowdhury & Matthias Sutter & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2018. "Evaluating Intergenerational Persistence of Economic Preferences: A Large Scale Experiment with Families in Bangladesh," CESifo Working Paper Series 6914, CESifo.
    11. Non, Arjan & Tempelaar, Dirk, 2016. "Time preferences, study effort, and academic performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 36-61.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    socio-economic status; time preferences; risk preferences; altruism; experiments with children; origins of preferences; human capital;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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