Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 498906
Title Social preferences and environmental quality : Evidence from school children in Sierra Leone
Author(s) Adda, Giovanna D'; Levely, Ian
Source Journal of African Economies 25 (2016)1. - ISSN 0963-8024 - p. 159 - 199.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/jae/ejv019
Department(s) Development Economics Group
WASS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) Altruism - Field experiments - Health and economic development - Inequality aversion
Abstract

This article examines the effect of exogenous health shocks in utero and in infancy on the development of social preferences later in childhood. We use data from binarychoice dictator games run with school children in rural Sierra Leone to measure aversion to inequality, altruism and spite towards peers within and outside one's social group. We exploit shocks in the level of rainfall in the place and year of children's birth as sources of variation in the environment at the time children are born. We find that being born into an environment with higher rainfall, which is associated with worse health outcomes, lowers the probability that a child will demonstrate a propensity to maximise her own material pay-off. We show that rainfall shocks are linked to children's height-for-age and suggest that they influence preferences through their effect on children's health. Whether the relationship is a direct one from health to physical and cognitive development, or an indirect one through parents' socialisation, our results suggest that preferences are shaped by features of the physical environment in which individuals are born.

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