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Parents Education and Their Adult Offsprings Other-Regarding Behavior

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Abstract: Does socioeconomic background when measured by parental educational attainment explain the heterogeneity in adults other-regarding preferences? I test this by using data from two online experiments -- a Dictator Game and a Trust Game that were conducted with a broad sample of the Danish adult population. I match the experimental data with high-quality data from the Danish population registers about my subjects and their parents. Whereas previous studies have found socioeconomic status, including parental educational attainment, to be predictive for children s generosity, I find no such evidence among adults. This result is robust across age groups and genders. I provide two explanations for this. First, sociodemographic characteristics in general appear to be poor predictors of adults other-regarding behavior. Second, by using Danish survey data, I find that Danish parents educational attainment appears to be uncorrelated with how important they find it to teach their children to "think of others ". More speculative explanations are also provided.

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