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The Formation of Prosociality: Causal Evidence on the Role of Social Environment

Fabian Kosse, Thomas Deckers, Pia Pinger, Hannah Schildberg-Horisch and Armin Falk
Additional contact information
Fabian Kosse: University of Bonn
Thomas Deckers: University of Bonn
Hannah Schildberg-Horisch: University of Bonn

No 2018-025, Working Papers from Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group

Abstract: This study presents descriptive and causal evidence on the role of social environment for the formation of prosociality. In a first step, we show that socio-economic status (SES) as well as the intensity of mother-child interaction and mothers’ prosocial attitudes are systematically related to elementary school children’s prosociality. In a second step, we present evidence on a randomly- assigned variation of the social environment, providing children with a mentor for the duration of one year. Our data include a two-year follow-up and reveal a significant and persistent increase in prosociality in the treatment relative to the control group. Moreover, enriching the social environment bears the potential to close the observed gap in prosociality between low and high SES children. A mediation analysis of the observed treatment effect suggests that prosociality develops in response to stimuli in the form of prosocial role models and intense social interactions.

Keywords: Formation of preferences; prosociality; social preferences; trust; social inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D64 C90 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hpe and nep-soc
Date: 2018-05
Note: IP
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (8) Track citations by RSS feed

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http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Kosse_ ... ociality_revised.pdf This version, May, 2018 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: The Formation of Prosociality: Causal Evidence on the Role of Social Environment (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: The Formation of Prosociality: Causal Evidence on the Role of Social Environment (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: The Formation of Prosociality: Causal Evidence on the Role of Social Environment (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: The formation of prosociality: Causal evidence on the role of social environment (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: The Formation of Prosociality: Causal Evidence on the Role of Social Environment (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: The Formation of Prosociality: Causal Evidence on the Role of Social Environment (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: The Formation of Prosociality: Causal Evidence on the Role of Social Environment (2016) Downloads
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