Ageism & Cooperation

35 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2012 Last revised: 3 Jul 2014

See all articles by Eric Schniter

Eric Schniter

Chapman University - George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics - Economic Science Institute

Timothy W. Shields

Chapman University - George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics; Chapman University - Economic Science Institute

John W. Dickhaut

Chapman University (Deceased)

Date Written: November 12, 2013

Abstract

While age-based discrimination is considered undesirable, we know little about the accuracy of age stereotypes and their effects on cooperation. To investigate the effects of age stereotypes on cooperation, we presented older adults (over age 50) and younger adults (under age 25) with incentivized belief elicitation tasks (about anticipated interaction behaviors) and then a series of same, different, and unknown-aged group interactions in a sender-receiver game. All adults shared consensual stereotypes about uncooperative younger adults and cooperative older adults that demonstrated “wisdom of crowds”. While the out-group was consistently stereotyped as relatively different and more uncooperative than observed to be, the in-group was neither consistently stereotyped more accurately nor treated more cooperatively. Younger adults earned more by acting uncooperatively with older adults and older adults earned less by acting cooperatively with younger adults (despite beliefs). We discuss how the ageism observed is relevant to intergenerational cooperation in an aging society.

NOTE: A subsequent version of this paper entitled "Ageism, Honesty, and Trust" was accepted by the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics.

Keywords: ageism, intergenerational interaction, stereotypes, discrimination, cooperation, economic experiment, social identity theory

JEL Classification: C71, C91, J14, J26, M12, M51

Suggested Citation

Schniter, Eric and Shields, Timothy W. and Dickhaut, John, Ageism & Cooperation (November 12, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2175778 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2175778

Eric Schniter (Contact Author)

Chapman University - George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics - Economic Science Institute ( email )

One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/ericschniter/

Timothy W. Shields

Chapman University - George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics ( email )

One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866
United States
714.289.2092 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/timothywshields/

Chapman University - Economic Science Institute ( email )

One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866
United States

John Dickhaut

Chapman University (Deceased)

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