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Social preferences in childhood and adolescence - A large-scale experiment

  • Sutter, Matthias

    ()

    (University of Innsbruck, University of Gothenburg, and IZA Bonn)

  • Feri, Francesco

    ()

    (University of Innsbruck)

  • Kocher, Martin G.

    ()

    (University of East Anglia and University of Innsbruck)

  • Martinsson, Peter

    ()

    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Nordblom, Katarina

    ()

    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Rützler, Daniela

    ()

    (University of Innsbruck)

Social preferences have been shown to be an important determinant of economic decision making for many adults. We present a large-scale experiment with 883 children and adolescents, aged eight to seventeen years. Participants make decisions in eight simple, one-shot allocation tasks, allowing us to study the distribution of social preference types across age and across gender. Our results show that when children and teenagers grow older, inequality aversion becomes a gradually less prominent motivating force of allocation decisions. At the same time, efficiency concerns increase in importance for boys, and maximin-preferences turn more important in shaping decisions of girls.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/22806
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Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 454.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 07 Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0454
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/

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  1. Miguel Costa-Gomes & Vincent P. Crawford & Bruno Broseta, . "Cognition and Behavior in Normal-Form Games:An Experimental Study," Discussion Papers 00/45, Department of Economics, University of York.
  2. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "Promises and Partnership," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000001, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," General Economics and Teaching 0303002, EconWPA.
  4. Ernst Fehr & Simon G�chter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
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  7. Sutter, Matthias & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela, 2010. "Gender Differences in Competition Emerge Early in Life," IZA Discussion Papers 5015, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Harbaugh, William T, 1998. "The Prestige Motive for Making Charitable Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 277-82, May.
  9. Gummerum, Michaela & Hanoch, Yaniv & Keller, Monika & Parsons, Katie & Hummel, Alegra, 2010. "Preschoolers' allocations in the dictator game: The role of moral emotions," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 25-34, February.
  10. Vesterlund, Lise, 2003. "The informational value of sequential fundraising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 627-657, March.
  11. Fehr, Ernst & Naef, Michael & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2006. "Inequality aversion, efficiency, and maximin preferences in simple distribution experiments: Comment," Munich Reprints in Economics 20639, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  12. Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, George & Riedl, Arno, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-59, May.
  13. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  14. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
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