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Don't leave your kid unattended? Sex differences in children's competitiveness in presence of their guardian

Silvia Ortiz-Merchan, Maria Lee-Ocampo, Sebastián Cuéllar-Harker, Maria F. Bolívar-Bernal, Diana Barriga, David Hernandez-Muñoz, Alexander Villasmil and César Mantilla

No m24yh, OSF Preprints from Center for Open Science

Abstract: In the growing literature connecting parents and child's economic decision-making remains unclear whether children's competitive performance is affected by their guardian's presence. We conducted a field experiment in which over 150 children were assigned to one of three tasks (i.e., trivia, a speed stacking game, or jumping a rope) and then chose to compete. Simultaneously, we elicited the guardians' beliefs about their child's willingness to compete in the three tasks and their expected performance. We randomize whether the guardian was encouraged to remain close and support the child during the task or, by contrast, the guardian should remain distant. Our findings suggest that the guardians' presence did not improve performance. Instead, the reduced performance in one task suggested some pressure effects. Mothers' beliefs about competitive behavior and performance across tasks are more correlated than fathers' beliefs. Mixed-sex pairs (i.e., girls with a male guardian and boys with a female guardian) are more likely to compete than same-sex pairs.

Date: 2023-07-24
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp and nep-spo
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DOI: 10.31219/

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