Distributional Preferences in Adolescent Peer Networks
Martin Kocher (),
Fredrik Carlsson () and
Mikael Lindahl ()
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Simon Schürz: Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Yonas Alem: Environment for Development and Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
No 20, IHS Working Paper Series from Institute for Advanced Studies
We study distributional (“social”) preferences in adolescent peer networks. Using incentivized choices between allocations for themselves and a passive agent, children are classified into efficiency-loving, inequality-loving, inequality-averse, and spiteful types. We find that pairs of students who report a friendship link are more likely to exhibit the same preference type than other students that attend the same school. The relation between types is almost completely driven by inequality-loving and spiteful types. Further analyses suggest that preference peer networks are mainly formed by selection into the network and, to a smaller degree, by preference transmission. The role of peer networks in explaining distributional preferences goes beyond network composition effects. A low rank in academic performance and a central position within the network relate positively to a higher likelihood of being classified as spiteful. Hence, social hierarchies seem to be correlated with distributional preference types.
Pages: 36 pages
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