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

Author

Listed:
  • Matthias Sutter

    (University of Innsbruck, University of Gothenburg, and IZA Bonn)

  • Francesco Feri

    (University of Innsbruck)

  • Martin G. Kocher

    (University of East Anglia and University of Innsbruck)

  • Peter Martinsson

    (University of Gothenburg)

  • Katarina Nordblom

    (University of Gothenburg and Uppsala University)

  • Daniela Rutzler

    (University of Innsbruck)

Abstract

Social preferences have been shown to be an important determinant of economic decision making for many adults. We present a largescale experiment with 883 children and adolescents, aged eight to seventeen years. Participants make decisions in eight simple, oneshot 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 Rutzler, 2010. "Social preferences in childhood and adolescence - A large-scale experiment," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 10-07, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  • Handle: RePEc:uea:wcbess:10-07
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
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    4. Sutter, Matthias & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela, 2010. "Gender Differences in Competition Emerge Early in Life," IZA Discussion Papers 5015, Institute for the Study of Labor (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 Group Munich.
    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 for the Study of Labor (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 for the Study of Labor (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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social preferences; children; age; gender; experiment;

    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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