jump to navigation

Do children outgrow socialism? May 27, 2010

Posted by Lene Johansen in Public Policy.
Tags: , , , , ,
trackback

A recent study in experimental economics from Norway has found a correlation between age and fairness. The study will be published in Science tomorrow.

The find comes thanks to an economic experiment known as the dictator game. Researchers led by experimental economist Alexander Cappelen of the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration in Bergen recruited youths aged 10 through 18 from schools near Bergen. Each child was paired with another student he or she didn’t know and then given a chance to earn real money by repeatedly noting the appearance of a particular three-figure number on a computer screen filled with large tables of numbers. Some students performed better at the task and thus earned more money. At the end of the game, the money earned by the pair was pooled, and one of the two students—the dictator—was asked to divvy up the cash with his or her partner in a way that he or she deemed fair.

Age determined how evenly the children divided up the earnings. About two-thirds of the youngest children, aged 10 to 11, split the pot evenly regardless of their own or their partner’s achievements. Older teenagers, however, split the pot based on achievement. Among 18-year-olds, for example, only 22% split the pot evenly with their partner, whereas 43% kept more for themselves because they felt like they’d earned it, the researchers report in tomorrow’s issue of Science.

Churchill predicted this result when he said, “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain”.

There have been studies finding correlation between fairness and economic shortages. People in smaller communities with narrower economic margins are less likely to share equally, as compared to people in larger communities that interacts more in the global economy.

Previous studies have also found that people are likely punish non-members of the tribe more harshly as compared to members of their own tribe for the same transgression. There are indications that this effect of outgrowing socialism might be driven by both biology and environmental factors. What have you found in your studies?

About these ads

Comments»

1. donnieshortpants - May 28, 2010

I think it probably has more to do with the political party you choose to join. If you become a Democrat you join Obama and the other children in embracing Socialism. Unfortunately by the time they all grow up there probably won’t be much left to share. Just my opinion. D.

2. » Study: Normal, Health Children Outgrow Socialism - Big Government - May 29, 2010

[...] was verified for me in the May 28 issue of Science Magazine.  A study (brought to my attention by Lene Johansen) was performed by Ingvild Almås, Alexander W. Cappelen, Erik Ø. Sørensen, and Bertil Tungodden [...]

3. » Study: Normal, Healthy Children Outgrow Socialism - Big Government - May 29, 2010

[...] was verified for me in the May 28 issue of Science Magazine.  A study (brought to my attention by Lene Johansen) was performed by Ingvild Almås, Alexander W. Cappelen, Erik Ø. Sørensen, and Bertil Tungodden [...]

4. Study: Normal, Healthy Children Outgrow Socialism | BohemianMonk - May 30, 2010

[...] was verified for me in the May 28 issue of Science Magazine.  A study (brought to my attention by Lene Johansen) was performed by Ingvild Almås, Alexander W. Cappelen, Erik Ø. Sørensen, and Bertil Tungodden [...]

5. Socialism is bad for adults or something | BohemianMonk - May 30, 2010

[...] was verified for me in the May 28 issue of Science Magazine.  A study (brought to my attention by Lene Johansen) was performed by Ingvild Almås, Alexander W. Cappelen, Erik Ø. Sørensen, and Bertil Tungodden [...]

6. Wie schreibe ich mein Geburtsdatum auf englisch und meine Nationalität ? – Vergleich Singlebörsen & Partnervermittlungen - July 5, 2010

[...] Does children outgrow socialism? [...]

7. jstrate - August 13, 2010

The traditional political science literature emphasizes the stability of political orientations throughout the adult life span–e.g., the strengthening of party identification with age (Converse). Political orientations are supposed to crystallize in early adulthood. Kent Jennings study is the authoritative study on political socialization but it does not track the early teen years. Speculation? Does this have to due with maturation and puberty? Sexual rivalry among youths increases dramatically from 10-12 to the later teen years. For the older group, I’d expect sharing to be less between same sex pairs than different sex pairs.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: