Study of Verbal Socialization and Role-Modeling Impacts on Children's Giving.

Raising Charitable Children: The Effects of Verbal Socialization and Role-Modeling on Children's Giving
July 9, 2016
Ottoni-Wilhelm, M., Zhang, Y., Estell, D. & Perdue, N.
Journal of Population Economics
Workforce Development
Social Programs
Ottoni-Wilhelm, M., Zhang, Y., Estell, D. & Perdue, N. (2017). Raising charitable children: The effects of verbal socialization and role-modeling on children's giving. Journal of Population Economics, 30(1), 189-224.

There is a lack of empirical evidence on how parental role-modeling and verbal socialization impact children's decisions whether to give to charity. Because of this research gap, it is unclear if parent's effectively use these two techniques when raising charitable children. Ye Zhang co-wrote a paper on the results of using nationally-representative data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and its Child Development
Supplement to estimate the causal effects of two parents' discussions about giving and role-modeling on children's decisions whether to give to charity.

The researchers developed an identification framework based on intra-household allocation and cultural transmission literatures. This framework categorizes the range of possible internal socialization patterns, allowing researchers to determine which of the studied specifications offers the bound for causal effects of parental socialization.

Researchers thought the most reasonable identifying assumption for socializing children's willingness to give to charity was that parents treat the socialization actions of others as cultural substitutes. As such, the estimates implied that talking to children about giving raises the probability of children's giving by at least .13. However, researchers found no evidence that parental role-modeling affects children's giving, except among non-African-American girls. This suggests that more research is needed to learn how to make role-modeling effective in the home, not just in the laboratory.