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Social preferences and lying aversion in children

  • Valeria Maggian

    ()

    (University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, Piazza dell’Ateneo Nuovo, 1, 20126, Milano, Italy)

  • Marie Claire Villeval

    ()

    (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France)

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 require more selfjustification to lie.

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Paper provided by Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure in its series Working Papers with number 1337.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:1337
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