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Donations, risk attitudes and time preferences: a study on altruism in primary school children

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  • Angerer, Silvia
  • Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela
  • Lergetporer, Philipp Jürgen Huber
  • Sutter, Matthias

Abstract

We study with a sample of 1,070 primary school children, aged seven to eleven years, how altruism in a donation experiment is related to children’s risk attitudes and intertemporal choices. Examining such a relationship is motivated by theories of reciprocal altruism that provide a cornerstone to understand human social behavior. We find that higher risk tolerance and patience in intertemporal choice increase, in general, the level of donations, albeit the effects are non-linear. We confirm earlier results that altruism increases with age during childhood and that girls are more altruistic than boys. Having older brothers makes subjects less altruistic.

Suggested Citation

  • Angerer, Silvia & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela & Lergetporer, Philipp Jürgen Huber & Sutter, Matthias, 2014. "Donations, risk attitudes and time preferences: a study on altruism in primary school children," Economics Working Papers ECO2014/04, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2014/04
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. John, Katrin & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2017. "Gender Differences in the Development of Other-Regarding Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 11044, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah & Deckers, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Kosse, Fabian, 2014. "How Does Socio-Economic Status Shape a Child's Personality?," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100285, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Alexander Cappelen & John List & Anya Samek & Bertil Tungodden, 2016. "The Effect of Early Education on Social Preferences," Framed Field Experiments 00584, The Field Experiments Website.
    4. Matthias Sutter & Silvia Angerer & Daniela Rützler & Philipp Lergetporer, 2015. "The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior: Experimental Evidence from Children's Intertemporal Choices," CESifo Working Paper Series 5532, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Angerer, Silvia & Dutcher, E. Glenn & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela & Lergetporer, Philipp & Sutter, Matthias, 2017. "Gender differences in discrimination emerge early in life: Evidence from primary school children in a bilingual city," Munich Reprints in Economics 55037, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    6. Angerer, Silvia & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela & Lergetporer, Philipp & Sutter, Matthias, 2016. "Cooperation and discrimination within and across language borders: Evidence from children in a bilingual city," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 254-264.
    7. Martin G. Kocher, 2015. "How Trust in Social Dilemmas Evolves with Age," CESifo Working Paper Series 5447, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Heinrich, Timo & Shachat, Jason, 2018. "The development of risk aversion and prudence in Chinese children and adolescents," MPRA Paper 86456, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Deckers, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Kosse, Fabian & Pinger, Pia & Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah, 2017. "Socio-economic status and inequalities in children's IQ and economic preferences," DICE Discussion Papers 274, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    10. Müller, Stephan & Rau, Holger A., 2015. "Risk-tolerant women donate more than men: Experimental evidence of dictator games," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 264, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    11. repec:eee:eecrev:v:106:y:2018:i:c:p:21-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Angerer, Silvia & Dutcher, E. Glenn & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela & Lergetporer, Philipp & Sutter, Matthias, 2017. "Gender differences in discrimination emerge early in life: Evidence from primary school children in a bilingual city," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 15-18.
    13. repec:eee:eecrev:v:102:y:2018:i:c:p:62-81 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. 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.
    15. Davide Dottori & Caterina Giannetti, 2017. "The effect of time preferences on altruism," Discussion Papers 2017/226, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    16. Silvia Angerer & Daniela Glätzle-Rützler & Philipp Lergetporer & Matthias Sutter, 2015. "How to measure time preferences in children – A comparison of two methods," ifo Working Paper Series 207, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Altruism; donations; risk attitudes; intertemporal choices; experiment; children;

    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
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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