IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Social Information and Charitable Giving: An artefactual field experiment with young children and adolescents


  • Guzmán, Andrea

    () (Universidad Nacional de Colombia-Sede Medellin)

  • Villegas-Palacio, Clara

    () (Universidad Nacional de Colombia-Sede Medellin)

  • Wollbrant, Conny

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


A growing literature in economics examines the development of preferences among children and adolescents. We combine a repeated dictator game with treatments that either provides participants with information about the average behavior of others or not. In a sample of 384 children aged 5-17, we find an increase in donations until the age of 13-14, but not beyond.We find no effect of social information on average donation behavior in any of the studied age-groups, but do find effects on the distributions of donations.

Suggested Citation

  • Guzmán, Andrea & Villegas-Palacio, Clara & Wollbrant, Conny, 2013. "Social Information and Charitable Giving: An artefactual field experiment with young children and adolescents," Working Papers in Economics 564, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0564

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-1093, Nov.-Dec..
    2. Martinsson, Peter & Nordblom, Katarina & Rützler, Daniela & Sutter, Matthias, 2011. "Social preferences during childhood and the role of gender and age -- An experiment in Austria and Sweden," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 110(3), pages 248-251, March.
    3. Kocher, Martin & Martinsson, Peter & Visser, Martine, 2012. "Social background, cooperative behavior, and norm enforcement," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 341-354.
    4. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October.
    5. List, John A. & Samak, Anya C., 2013. "Exploring the origins of charitable acts: Evidence from an artefactual field experiment with young children," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(3), pages 431-434.
    6. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2002. "Why Social Preferences Matter -- The Impact of Non-Selfish Motives on Competition, Cooperation and Incentives," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages 1-33, March.
    7. Peter Martinsson & Kristian Ove R. Myrseth & Conny Wollbrant, 2012. "Reconciling pro-social vs. selfish behavior: On the role of self-control," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 7(3), pages 304-315, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Children; Charitable giving; Social information; Preference development;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0564. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marie Andersson). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.