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

Fabian Kosse, Thomas Deckers, Pia Pinger, Hannah Schildberg-Hoerisch () and Armin Falk

Munich Reprints in Economics from University of Munich, Department of Economics

Abstract: This study presents evidence on the role of social environment for the formation of prosociality. We show that socioeconomic status (SES) as well as intensity of mother-child interaction and mothers' prosocial attitudes are related to elementary school children's prosociality. We also present evidence on a randomly assigned variation of the social environment, providing children with a mentor for 1 year. Our data reveal a significant and persistent increase in prosociality in the treatment relative to the control group. Moreover, enriching the social environment closes the prosociality gap between low- and high-SES children. A mediation analysis suggests that prosociality develops in response to prosocial role models and intense social interactions.

Date: 2020
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Published in Journal of Political Economy 2 128(2020): pp. 434-467

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Related works:
Journal Article: The Formation of Prosociality: Causal Evidence on the Role of Social Environment (2020) Downloads
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 (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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