Social Preferences in Childhood and Adolescence: A Large-Scale Experiment

29 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2010

See all articles by Matthias Sutter

Matthias Sutter

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Cologne - Department of Economics

Francesco Feri

University of London

Martin G. Kocher

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich - Faculty of Economics; Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) - Department of Economics & Finance; Göteborg University - School of Business, Economics and Law; Queensland University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance

Peter Martinsson

Göteborg University - Department of Economics and Statistics

Katarina Nordblom

Göteborg University - Department Economics

Daniela Rützler

University of Innsbruck

Abstract

Social preferences have been shown to be an important determinant of economic decision making for many adults. We present a large-scale experiment with 883 children and adolescents, aged eight to seventeen years. Participants make decisions in eight simple, one-shot 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.

Keywords: children, social preferences, age, gender, experiment

JEL Classification: C91, D63, D64

Suggested Citation

Sutter, Matthias and Feri, Francesco and Kocher, Martin G. and Martinsson, Peter and Nordblom, Katarina and Rützler, Daniela, Social Preferences in Childhood and Adolescence: A Large-Scale Experiment. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1634483

Matthias Sutter (Contact Author)

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

University of Cologne - Department of Economics

Cologne, 50923
Germany

Francesco Feri

University of London ( email )

Senate House
Malet Street
London, WC1E 7HU
United Kingdom

Martin G. Kocher

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Ludwigstrasse 28
Munich, D-80539
Germany

Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) - Department of Economics & Finance ( email )

Stumpergasse 56
A-1060 Vienna, A-1060
Austria

Göteborg University - School of Business, Economics and Law ( email )

Vasagatan 1
Goteborg, 40530
Sweden

Queensland University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

GPO Box 2434
2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4001
Australia

Peter Martinsson

Göteborg University - Department of Economics and Statistics ( email )

Box 640
Vasagatan 1, E-building, floor 5 & 6
Göteborg, 40530
Sweden

Katarina Nordblom

Göteborg University - Department Economics ( email )

Box 640
Vasagatan 1, E-building, floor 5 & 6
Göteborg, 40530
Sweden

Daniela Rützler

University of Innsbruck ( email )

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