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Envy and Altruism in Children

Author

Listed:
  • Kirsten Häger

    () (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich Schiller University Jena)

Abstract

Envy and altruism have been studied extensively in adults. Here, we report data from an experiment studying envious and altruistic behavior in children. We study a sample of German school children aged seven to ten in a natural setting. We run two treatments. One treatment investigates envy, the other one studies altruism. Additionally, we collect data on the children's cognitive and social skills, and on their socio-demographic background. Controlling for these factors, we find that older children are significantly more altruistic. Boys care more about their relative position than girls. Socio-demographic information have limited predictive power in both treatments.

Suggested Citation

  • Kirsten Häger, 2010. "Envy and Altruism in Children," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-063, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2010-063
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    File URL: http://pubdb.wiwi.uni-jena.de/pdf/wp_2010_063.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Houser, Daniel & Schunk, Daniel, 2009. "Social environments with competitive pressure: Gender effects in the decisions of German schoolchildren," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 634-641, August.
    2. Dahlman, Sandra & Ljungqvist, Pontus & Johannesson, Magnus, 2007. "Reciprocity in young children," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 674, Stockholm School of Economics.
    3. Charness, Gary & Grosskopf, Brit, 2001. "Relative payoffs and happiness: an experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 301-328, July.
    4. repec:adr:anecst:y:2001:i:63-64:p:04 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Daniel J. Zizzo & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Are People Willing to Pay to Reduce Others'Incomes?," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 63-64, pages 39-65.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Are we born altruistic?
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-10-27 20:40:00
    2. Rousseau takes another battering
      by Nicholas Gruen in Club Troppo on 2010-10-05 04:38:40

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kirsten Häger & Bastiaan Oud & Daniel Schunk, 2012. "Egalitarian Envy: Cross-cultural Variation in the Development of Envy in Children," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-059, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    artefactual field experiment; children; envy; altruism;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C99 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Other

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