Development of Other-Regarding Preferences in Children and Adolescents

by Katrin John (Author)
©2016 Thesis 202 Pages


Other-regarding preferences, hence appreciation of others’ welfare, are mainly culturally transmitted, whereby most of the development takes place in the sensitive period of childhood and adolescence. This work analyzes the development as well as possible influencing factors of other-regarding preferences during this period. To test the hypotheses derived from developmental and socialization aspects, the author conducts a survey measuring altruistic and cooperative preferences for German pupils. Results show that over the age span studied altruism and cooperation are increasingly important. Individual differences show none or only small relationship with measures of other-regarding preferences while differences in school environments are similarly important to age differences.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Danksagung
  • Summary
  • Zusammenfassung
  • Contents
  • List of Tables
  • List of Figures
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Nature, Origin and Transmission of Other-Regarding Preferences
  • 2.1 Experimental Findings on Other-Regarding Preferences
  • 2.1.1 Interpretation of Measures of Other-Regarding Preferences
  • 2.2 Models of Other-Regarding Preferences
  • 2.3 The Origins of Other-Regarding Preferences
  • 2.3.1 Biological Approach
  • 2.3.2 Psychological Approach
  • Social Learning Theory
  • Cognitive Developmental Theory
  • Social Identity Approach
  • 2.4 Transmission of Other-Regarding Preferences
  • 2.4.1 Heritability of Other-Regarding Preferences
  • 2.4.2 Cultural Transmission
  • Parental Socialization
  • Socialization via Peers
  • Socialization via Society
  • 3 Set-Up and Implementation of the Empirical Analysis of Other-Regarding Preferences
  • 3.1 Framework of the Analysis
  • 3.2 Data Collection
  • 3.3 Measuring Other-Regarding Preferences
  • 3.3.1 Experiment Design
  • 3.3.2 Empirical Use of Decisions Made
  • 3.4 Non-Experimental Survey
  • 3.4.1 Personality Traits
  • 3.4.2 Intelligence Test
  • 3.4.3 Questionnaires
  • 4 Results of the Empirical Analysis of Other-Regarding Preferences
  • 4.1 Description of Sample Background
  • 4.1.1 External Validity
  • 4.2 Outcomes of Games
  • 4.2.1 Behavior Across Games
  • 4.3 Analysis of Hypothesized Influences
  • 4.3.1 Age
  • 4.3.2 Ability
  • 4.3.3 Personality
  • 4.3.4 Gender
  • 4.3.5 Family Background
  • 4.3.6 Leisure Activities
  • 4.3.7 Residence
  • 4.3.8 School
  • 4.3.9 School Track
  • 4.3.10 Experiment Design
  • 4.4 Summary of Empirical Findings
  • 5 School Environment as a Specific Influence on Other-Regarding Preferences
  • 5.1 School Environment at the Level of the School
  • 5.1.1 Data Restriction
  • 5.1.2 Regression Analysis
  • 5.1.3 Sensitivity Analysis
  • 5.1.4 Discussion of Preference Transmission via (School) Environment
  • 5.2 School Environment at the Level of the School Track
  • 5.2.1 A Model of Tracking and Other-Regarding Preferences
  • 5.2.2 Data Restriction and Aggregation of School Tracks
  • 5.2.3 Experiment Outcomes for Subgroups
  • 5.2.4 Endowment and its Relation to Experiment Outcomes
  • 5.2.5 School-Track Environment and its Relation to Experiment Outcomes
  • 5.2.6 Robustness and Validity
  • Length of Treatment
  • Robustness of the Balancing Score
  • 5.2.7 Discussion of School Environment Association
  • 6 Concluding Remarks
  • Appendix A Experiment Course and Instructions
  • Appendix B Questionnaires
  • Appendix C Further Tables and Figures
  • Appendix D Ultimatum Game
  • Bibliography

| xv →

List of Tables

Table 3.1 Overview on Schools Surveyed

Table 3.2 Variables Created from Experimental Decisions

Table 3.3 Description of Personality Dimensions in the JTCI

Table 3.4 Personality Traits and Facets in the JTCI

Table 3.5 Operationalizations of Characteristics Ascertained in Questionnaires

Table 4.1 Description of Questionnaire Variables

Table 4.2 Description of Intelligence and Personality Measures

Table 4.3 Representativeness of the Sample

Table 4.4 Mean Outcomes in Dictator and Public Goods Game

Table 4.5 Distribution of Choices across Games

Table 4.6 Mean Outcomes in DG and PGG by Grade

Table 4.7 Significant Mean Differences in DG and PGG between Grades

Table 4.8 Estimation Results: Influence of Age and Grade

Table 4.9 Mean Outcomes in DG and PGG by IQ Tertile

Table 4.10 Estimation Results: Influence of Ability

Table 4.11 Correlation Coefficients for IQ and Personality Across Experiment Outcomes

Table 4.12 Estimation Results: Influence of Personality

Table 4.13 Mean Outcomes in DG and PGG by Gender

Table 4.14 Estimation Results: Influence of Gender

Table 4.15 Estimation Results: Influence of Interacting Personality and Gender

Table 4.16 Mean Outcomes in DG and PGG by Family Background

Table 4.17 Further Mean Outcomes in DG and PGG by Family Background (Restricted Sample Coverage)

Table 4.18 Estimation Results: Influence of Family Background

Table 4.19 Estimation Results: Influence of Occupational Prestige (Restricted Sample Coverage)← xv | xvi →

Table 4.20 Mean Outcomes in DG and PGG by Leisure Activity

Table 4.21 Estimation Results: Influence of Leisure Activities

Table 4.22 Mean Outcomes in DG and PGG by Region

Table 4.23 Difference of Outcomes in DG and PGG between Regions by Grade

Table 4.24 Estimation Results: Influence of Region

Table 4.25 Mean Outcomes in DG and PGG by School

Table 4.26 Significant Mean Differences in DG and PGG by School

Table 4.27 Estimation Results: Influence of Schools

Table 4.28 Mean Outcomes in DG and PGG by School Track

Table 4.29 Estimation Results: Influence of School Track

Table 4.30 Estimation Results: Influence of Experimental Design

Table 5.1 Sample Composition across Schools and Grades

Table 5.2 Mean Outcomes Across Schools

Table 5.3 Means of Background Variables Across Schools

Table 5.4 Correlation Coefficients of Outcomes and Individual Background

Table 5.5 Mean Outcomes across Grades and Schools

Table 5.6 Marginal Effects after Regressions: Dictator Game

Table 5.7 Marginal Effects after Regressions: Public Goods Game

Table 5.8 Sensitivity Checks for the Dictator Game

Table 5.9 Sensitivity Checks for the Public Goods Game

Table 5.10 Comparison of Selection for Schools 5 and 6

Table 5.11 Means of Background and Outcome Variables across Schools

Table 5.12 Means of Individual Characteristics According to School Track

Table 5.13 Correlation Coefficients for Endowment and Outcomes Across School Tracks

Table 5.14 p-Values for Track Differences in Center Populations

Table 5.15 Estimation Results: Influence of School Track with Larger Set of Covariates

Table 5.16 Marginal Effects of the Propensity Score

Table 5.17 Average Treatment Effects for Academic School Track← xvi | xvii →

Table 5.18 Age-Specific Effect of Being in the Academic Track


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2016 (November)
other's welfare school childhood adolescence altruism
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2016. 222 pp., 15 b/w ill., 61 tables

Biographical notes

Katrin John (Author)

Katrin John studied Economics at the Universities of Leipzig and Magdeburg. She worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Magdeburg and at the Niedersächsisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung in Hannover.


Title: Development of Other-Regarding Preferences in Children and Adolescents