Intergenerational cooperation within the household: a Public Good game with three generations
We analyze cooperation of individuals in a family context, using a Public Good game. In a lab experiment, 165 individuals from 55 three-generation families (youth, parent, and grandparent) play a repeated Public Good game in three different treatments: one in which three members of the same family play each other (family), a second with the youth and two non-family members, while preserving the previous generational structure (inter-generational), and a third in which three randomly-selected players play each other (random). We find that all the age groups cooperate more when playing with relatives, indicating that family ties may have a positive relationship to contributions to the Public Good. We also find that this trend is more evident for the youths and the parents than for the grandparents. Furthermore, young individuals tend to cooperate less than older generations, especially in non-family treatments. Our results serve as evidence of the relationship between family ties and inter-generational cooperative behaviors.
KeywordsIntergenerational cooperation Public Good game Evolutionary game theory Kinship Social networks
JEL CodesD03 D64 D70
We are grateful to the IBERCIVIS Foundation for organizing volunteer recruitment. This paper has benefited from funding by the Spanish Ministry of Economics (Project ECO2012-34828), the EU FET Proactive Project Dolfins (Grant 640772) and FET Open Project IBSEN (Grant 662725). This paper was partially designed while Jose Alberto Molina was Visiting Fellow at the Department of Economics of Boston College (US), to which he would like to express his thanks for the hospitality and facilities provided.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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