The Development of Egalitarianism, Altruism, Spite and Parochialism in Childhood and Adolescence

39 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2011

See all articles by Ernst Fehr

Ernst Fehr

University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Daniela Glätzle-Rützle

University of Innsbruck - Department of Public Finance

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

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Abstract

We study how the distribution of other-regarding preferences develops with age. Based on a set of allocation choices, we can classify each of 717 subjects, aged 8 to 17 years, as either egalitarian, altruistic, or spiteful. Varying the allocation recipient as either an in-group or an out-group member, we can also study how parochialism develops with age. We find a strong decrease in spitefulness with increasing age. Egalitarianism becomes less frequent, and altruism much more prominent, with age. Women are more frequently classified as egalitarian than men, and less often as altruistic. Parochialism first becomes significant in the teenage years.

Keywords: other-regarding preferences, egalitarianism, altruism, spite, parochialism, experiments with children and adolescents

JEL Classification: C91, D03

Suggested Citation

Fehr, Ernst and Glätzle-Rützle, Daniela and Sutter, Matthias, The Development of Egalitarianism, Altruism, Spite and Parochialism in Childhood and Adolescence. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5530. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1771252

Ernst Fehr (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Blümlisalpstrasse 10
Zuerich, 8006
Switzerland
+41 1 634 3709 (Phone)
+41 1 634 4907 (Fax)

Daniela Glätzle-Rützle

University of Innsbruck - Department of Public Finance ( email )

Innrain 52
Innsbruck, 6020
Austria

Matthias Sutter

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

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