School-Track Environment or Endowment: What Determines Different Other-Regarding Behavior Across Peer Groups?

NIW Discussion Paper No. 7

John Katrin und Stephan L. Thomsen

December 2013 / Revised Version: April 2015

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Using experiment data of German schoolchildren, we analyze other-regarding behavior across two school tracks resulting from achievement grouping. Across tracks, pupils differ in their share of giving in the dictator game and the propensity to choose equal outcomes. Although tracking also results in deviant peer groups regarding individual endowment, differences in IQ scores, self-evaluated personality, and socioeconomic composition cannot explain the gap in experiment outcomes. The additional matching analysis confirms that besides aspects of achievement tracking results in a robust treatment effect on generosity. Therefore, school-track environment constitutes an important determinant in the formation of other-regarding preferences.