Rousseau takes another battering

Envy and Altruism in Children
Date: 2010-09-17
By: Kirsten Häger (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich Schiller University Jena)
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2010-063&r=exp

Envy and altruism have been studied extensively in adults. Here, we report data from an experiment studying envious and altruistic behavior in children. We study a sample of German school children aged seven to ten in a natural setting. We run two treatments. One treatment investigates envy, the other one studies altruism. Additionally, we collect data on the children’s cognitive and social skills, and on their socio-demographic background. Controlling for these factors, we find that older children are significantly more altruistic. Boys care more about their relative position than girls. Socio-demographic information have limited predictive power in both treatments.

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