Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2402407
 


 



Beware of Popular Kids Bearing Gifts: A Framed Field Experiment


Jingnan Chen


George Mason University - Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science (ICES)

Daniel Houser


George Mason University - Department of Economics

Natalia Montinari


University of Lund, School of Economics

Marco Piovesan


University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

February 26, 2014


Abstract:     
The literature on pro-social behavior shows that older children are more generous than younger children; however, the level of individual generosity is heterogeneous even between children of the same age. This paper investigates whether a child’s popularity affects a child’s generosity. Our participants – 231 children, six to twelve years old – decide how many of their four colored wristbands they want to share with another anonymous child. We manipulate the visibility of this decision: in treatment Public, the decisions are revealed to the entire class at the end of the game, whereas in treatment Private children’s decisions remain secret. In addition, we elicited each child’s network of friends using an innovative “seating map” mechanism. Our results reveal that more popular children are more generous in Public than Private decision environments, while less popular children behave similarly in both cases. Moreover, older children in Public display greater generosity than (i) older children in Private and (ii) younger children in either Public or Private. Finally, in Public, older and more popular children share more than less popular older children, and more than younger children regardless of popularity; whereas, in Private there is no effect of popularity on children of any age.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 33

Keywords: popularity, children, field experiment, public decision making, pro-social behavior

JEL Classification: C93, J13

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Date posted: March 1, 2014  

Suggested Citation

Chen, Jingnan and Houser, Daniel and Montinari, Natalia and Piovesan, Marco, Beware of Popular Kids Bearing Gifts: A Framed Field Experiment (February 26, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2402407 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2402407

Contact Information

Jingnan Chen (Contact Author)
George Mason University - Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science (ICES) ( email )
400P Truland Building
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
Daniel Houser
George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
Natalia Montinari
University of Lund, School of Economics ( email )
S-220 07 Lund
Sweden
Marco Piovesan
University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )
Copenhagen University Library
Licenssekretariatet Nørre Alle 49
DK-2200 Copenhagen N.
Denmark
HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.ku.dk/piovesan/
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