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Effects of Parental Background on Other-Regarding Preferences in Children

  • Bauer, Michal

    ()

    (Charles University, Prague)

  • Chytilová, Julie

    ()

    (Charles University, Prague)

  • Pertold-Gebicka, Barbara

    ()

    (Charles University, Prague)

Other-regarding preferences are central for the ability to solve collective action problems and thus for society's welfare. We study how the formation of other-regarding preferences during childhood is related to parental background. Using binary-choice dictator games to classify subjects into other-regarding types, we find that children of less educated parents are less altruistic and more spiteful. This link is robust to controlling for a range of child, family, and peer characteristics, and is attenuated for smarter children. The results suggest that less educated parents are either less efficient to instill social norms or their children less able to acquire them.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6026.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6026
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  1. Eric Bettinger & Robert Slonim, 2007. "Patience among children," Artefactual Field Experiments 00043, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
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  13. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
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  20. Avinash Dixit, 2009. "Governance Institutions and Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 5-24, March.
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