, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 255-257
Date: 19 Aug 2010

The economic child: developmental aspects of economic behavior

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For over 200 years, economics has not considered children as economic agents, focusing almost exclusively on the world and activities of adults (possibly young, western, and with a disposition to play lotteries). In doing this, economic science has followed faithfully the western civilization that, since ancient Greek, has considered children not citizens or agents.

Things are now changing quickly, in many social sciences included economics; we think for at least three reasons:

First of all, the growing role played by psychological insights into the building and testing of economic models of both individual and strategic behavior has attracted economists’ attention toward developmental aspects of behavior. Studying the evolution throughout age of choice patterns and pro-social orientation may reveal insights into how social orientations originate, how they are learned, how values and norms are interiorized and become active in shaping behavior and, finally, how all those factors evolve w ...