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

Author

Listed:
  • Matthias Sutter
  • Francesco Feri
  • Martin G. Kocher
  • Peter Martinsson
  • Katarina Nordblom
  • Daniela Rützler

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Sutter & Francesco Feri & Martin G. Kocher & Peter Martinsson & Katarina Nordblom & Daniela Rützler, 2010. "Social preferences in childhood and adolescence - A large-scale experiment," Working Papers 2010-13, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  • Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2010-13
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Sutter, Matthias & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela, 2010. "Gender Differences in Competition Emerge Early in Life," IZA Discussion Papers 5015, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela & Lergetporer, Philipp, 2015. "Lying and age: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 12-25.
    2. Fehr, Ernst & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela & Sutter, Matthias, 2013. "The development of egalitarianism, altruism, spite and parochialism in childhood and adolescence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 369-383.
    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. Luigino Bruni & Vittorio Pelligra, 2010. "The economic child: developmental aspects of economic behavior," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 57(3), pages 255-257, September.
    5. Brosig-Koch, Jeannette & Helbach, Christoph & Ockenfels, Axel & Weimann, Joachim, 2011. "Still different after all these years: Solidarity behavior in East and West Germany," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1373-1376.
    6. Martin G. Kocher, 2015. "How Trust in Social Dilemmas Evolves with Age," CESifo Working Paper Series 5447, CESifo.
    7. Koch, Alexander & Nafziger, Julia & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2015. "Behavioral economics of education," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 3-17.
    8. Czermak, Simon & Feri, Francesco & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela & Sutter, Matthias, 2010. "Strategic Sophistication of Adolescents: Evidence from Experimental Normal-Form Games," IZA Discussion Papers 5049, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilová & Barbara Pertold-Gebicka, 2014. "Parental background and other-regarding preferences in children," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(1), pages 24-46, March.
    10. Bügelmayer, Elisabeth & Katharina Spiess, C., 2014. "Spite and cognitive skills in preschoolers," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 154-167.
    11. Sutter, Matthias & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela, 2010. "Gender Differences in Competition Emerge Early in Life," IZA Discussion Papers 5015, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Konstanting Lucks & Melanie Lührmann & Joachim K. Winter, 2017. "Peer effects in risky choices among adolescents," IFS Working Papers W17/16, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    13. Brishti Guha, 2020. "Revisiting the volunteer's dilemma: group size and public good provision in the presence of some ambiguity aversion," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 40(2), pages 1308-1318.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social preferences; children; age; gender; experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • 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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