Social preferences in childhood and adolescence. A large-scale experiment to estimate primary and secondary motivations

Matthias Sutter, Francesco Feri, Daniela Glätzle-Rützler, Martin G. Kocher, Peter Martinsson , Katarina Nordblom

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We elicit social preferences of 883 children and teenagers, aged eight to 17 years, in an experiment. Using an econometric mixture model we estimate a subject’s primary and secondary social preference motivations. The secondary motivation indicates the motivation that becomes relevant when the primary motivation implies indifference between various choices. For girls, particularly older ones, maximin-preferences are the most frequent primary motivation, while for boys efficiency concerns are most relevant. Examining secondary motivations reveals that girls are mostly social-welfare-oriented, with strong equity concerns. Boys are also oriented towards social welfare, but are more concerned with efficiency than with equity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-30
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of economic behavior & organization
Early online date9 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

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