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Altruism without reciprocation in children

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  • Luigi Mittone

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Abstract

The focus of this paper is on altruism and coordination among children. A special form of altruism (ethical altruism) is investigated by means of experiments. The definition of altruism used here follows from A. Sen�s concept of obligation, i.e. behaviour that produces advantage for someone whose welfare is not important for the agent�s well-being. In this sense, the paper investigates altruism without reciprocity. The experiment discussed was originally developed to test adult behaviour, whereas the experimental subjects in this case are two samples of children aged respectively 9 and 12 years old. The aim of the analysis was to verify whether the findings of the previous experiments with adults were confirmed when the subjects were much younger.

Suggested Citation

  • Luigi Mittone, 2003. "Altruism without reciprocation in children," CEEL Working Papers 0302, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  • Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpce:0302
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    File URL: http://www-ceel.economia.unitn.it/papers/papero03_02.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Gary E. Bolton & Rami Zwick & Elena Katok, 1998. "Dictator game giving: Rules of fairness versus acts of kindness," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 27(2), pages 269-299.
    8. Luigi Mittone, 2003. "Ethical altruism and redistribution: an experimental approach," CEEL Working Papers 0301, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    9. Mark Isaac, R. & McCue, Kenneth F. & Plott, Charles R., 1985. "Public goods provision in an experimental environment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 51-74, February.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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