Zoller, Claudia Elisabeth (2018). Essays on Fairness, Coordination, and Diligence - Experimental Evidence from Children and Young Adults. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.

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Abstract

This thesis builds on two separate pillars, contributing to the literature on eco- nomic preferences by eliciting data in a laboratory and in lab-in-the-field experi- ments. The first part of this thesis analyzes preferences for the support of the wel- fare state. Preferences for redistribution typically depend on the perceived causes of income inequality and vary in the extent of the support for redistributive policies. Chapter 2 investigates the influence of potential immoral self-serving behavior on distributional preferences, where the source of the inequality is either determined by luck or cheating. When cheating opportunities are present, the share of subjects redistributing money from rich to poor stakeholders triples and becomes as large as the fraction of libertarians – i.e., participants who never redistribute. Without cheating opportunities, libertarian fairness views dominate, while egalitarian views are much less prevalent. The second part of this thesis considers individual decision-making in children and adolescents. Chapter 3 provides an overview of the experimental literature with children, giving detailed insights into common behavioral patterns and the devel- opment of economic preferences with age. Given the huge increase of papers over recent years, we provide the first overview of economic experiments with children and adolescents. We focus on the following aspects: rationality of choices, risk preferences, time preferences, social preferences, cooperation, and competitiveness. All of these aspects are analyzed with respect to the influence of age and gender, and we also consider the role of socio-economic status or interventions. Chapter 4 investigates a strategic setting with children and adolescents in the context of a coordination game, measuring the influence of age and strategic uncertainty on efficient play. We find that coordination on the efficient equilibrium becomes less likely with increasing age, unless it is exceedingly profitable to do so. Coordination with one partner yields more efficient outcomes compared to when children have to coordinate in groups of five. Hence, children are able to account for strategic uncertainty when coordinating in large groups. This concern is more pronounced in older children as they choose the efficient strategy less frequently in large groups, which is driven by pessimistic beliefs about the other players’ choices. Chapter 5 focuses on individual decision-making in early childhood, analyzing effort provision under either exogenously imposed or endogenously set time schedules. In a treat- ment variation a subset of children was able to decide when to do the real effort task – today or tomorrow. We find that children who postpone the task to the next day exert substantially less effort than children who choose to (or are told to) do the task right away. While procrastination behavior is more profound in the younger age cohort of three and four year-olds, procrastinators of all ages exert less effort.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Zoller, Claudia Elisabethclaudia.zoller@mci.eduUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-90221
Subjects: Economics
Uncontrolled Keywords:
KeywordsLanguage
fairness, coordination, diligence, experiments, childrenEnglish
Faculty: Faculty of Management, Economy and Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences
Language: English
Date: 19 November 2018
Date of oral exam: 16 October 2018
Referee:
NameAcademic Title
Sutter, MatthiasProf. Dr.
Rockenbach, BettinaProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/9022

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