Like Mother Like Son? Experimental Evidence on the Transmission of Values from Parents to Children

29 Pages Posted: 23 May 2008

See all articles by Marco Cipriani

Marco Cipriani

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Paola Giuliano

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Olivier Jeanne

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Research Department; Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees (ENPC); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2007

Abstract

This paper studies whether prosocial values are transmitted from parents to their children. We do so through an economic experiment, in which a group of Hispanic and African American families play a standard public goods game. The experimental data presents us with a surprising result. We find no significant correlation between the degree of cooperation of a child and that of his or her parents. Such lack of cooperation is robust across age groups, sex, family size and different estimation strategies. This contrasts with the typical assumption made by the theoretical economic literature on the inter-generational transmission of values. The absence of correlation between parents' and children's behaviour, however, is consistent with part of the psychological literature, which emphasizes the importance of peer effects in the socialization process.

Keywords: culture, public goods game, values

JEL Classification: C92, H41, Z1

Suggested Citation

Cipriani, Marco and Giuliano, Paola and Jeanne, Olivier, Like Mother Like Son? Experimental Evidence on the Transmission of Values from Parents to Children (May 2007). , Vol. , pp. -, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1136612

Marco Cipriani (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of New York ( email )

33 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10045
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Paola Giuliano

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Olivier Jeanne

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Research Department ( email )

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Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees (ENPC) ( email )

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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United Kingdom

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