Advanced

Risk-taking behavior in monolingual vs. bilingual children: an experiment

Frederiksen, Diana LU (2015) NEKH01 20151
Department of Economics
Abstract
The effect of language on economic behavior is an area of research recently brought to public attention. Previous studies have touched upon the effect of language on risk attitudes, though this behavior in children has been studied to a lesser extent. Observing differences in language skills in children may indicate differences in developmental gains, and therefore an understanding of economic concepts. In a controlled experiment, conducted amongst a sample of 20 monolingual and 20 bilingual children aged 8-12-years old in Stockholm, risk-taking propensity was observed. The results indicate that bilingual children presented more risk averse behavior, and monolingual speakers of languages with weak future time references were similarly so.... (More)
The effect of language on economic behavior is an area of research recently brought to public attention. Previous studies have touched upon the effect of language on risk attitudes, though this behavior in children has been studied to a lesser extent. Observing differences in language skills in children may indicate differences in developmental gains, and therefore an understanding of economic concepts. In a controlled experiment, conducted amongst a sample of 20 monolingual and 20 bilingual children aged 8-12-years old in Stockholm, risk-taking propensity was observed. The results indicate that bilingual children presented more risk averse behavior, and monolingual speakers of languages with weak future time references were similarly so. In accordance with previous research, girls were generally more risk averse than boys, and older children more so than younger. Supplementary background information was gathered, though not for the complete sample, which rendered some inconclusive results, but also indications of parental background having effects on risk attitude. As this generation’s children are becoming more influential in families’ consumption patterns and beginning to make their own financial decisions, an awareness of the relationship between language and economic behavior could lead to implications in education and policy making and an understanding of how economic behavior develops over time. (Less)
Popular Abstract (Swedish)
Språkets påverkan på ekonomisk beteende är ett område som endast nyligen har uppmärksammats. Tidigare studier har snuddat på språkets effekt på riskbeteende, men inte undersökt detta beteende hos barn. Skillnader i språkkunskaper bland barn kan tyda på skillnader i kognitiv utveckling och därmed en förståelse av ekonomiska koncept. I ett kontrollerat experiment undersöks 20 enspråkiga och 20 flerspråkiga barn mellan åldrarna 8-12 i Stockholm och deras riskbenägenhet. Resultaten pekar mot att flerspråkiga barn visar mer försiktigt beteende (mindre riskfyllt eller risk averse), och barn som talar språk med starka framtidsreferenser likaså. Likt tidigare forskning visade det sig också att flickor var mindre benägna att ta risker än pojkar och... (More)
Språkets påverkan på ekonomisk beteende är ett område som endast nyligen har uppmärksammats. Tidigare studier har snuddat på språkets effekt på riskbeteende, men inte undersökt detta beteende hos barn. Skillnader i språkkunskaper bland barn kan tyda på skillnader i kognitiv utveckling och därmed en förståelse av ekonomiska koncept. I ett kontrollerat experiment undersöks 20 enspråkiga och 20 flerspråkiga barn mellan åldrarna 8-12 i Stockholm och deras riskbenägenhet. Resultaten pekar mot att flerspråkiga barn visar mer försiktigt beteende (mindre riskfyllt eller risk averse), och barn som talar språk med starka framtidsreferenser likaså. Likt tidigare forskning visade det sig också att flickor var mindre benägna att ta risker än pojkar och äldre barn mindre benägna än yngre. Ytterligare bakgrundsinformation samlades in, men på grund av låg respons kan inga signifikanta slutsatser dras, men en antydan finns att föräldrarnas bakgrund påverkar barnens riskbeteende. Eftersom denna generations barn blir alltmer inflytelserika i deras familjers konsumptionsmönster, och således börjar bli mer medvetna om deras egna finansiella beslut, kan en medvetenhet om förhållandet mellan språk och ekonomiskt beteende leda till implikationer inom utbildning och andra beslutsfattande instanser, och även ge en förståelse i hur ekonomiskt beteende förändras över tid. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Frederiksen, Diana LU
supervisor
organization
course
NEKH01 20151
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Risk preference, risk taking, behavioral economics, bilingualism, children, gender
language
English
id
5474197
date added to LUP
2015-06-30 15:29:35
date last changed
2015-06-30 15:29:35
@misc{5474197,
  abstract     = {The effect of language on economic behavior is an area of research recently brought to public attention. Previous studies have touched upon the effect of language on risk attitudes, though this behavior in children has been studied to a lesser extent. Observing differences in language skills in children may indicate differences in developmental gains, and therefore an understanding of economic concepts. In a controlled experiment, conducted amongst a sample of 20 monolingual and 20 bilingual children aged 8-12-years old in Stockholm, risk-taking propensity was observed. The results indicate that bilingual children presented more risk averse behavior, and monolingual speakers of languages with weak future time references were similarly so. In accordance with previous research, girls were generally more risk averse than boys, and older children more so than younger. Supplementary background information was gathered, though not for the complete sample, which rendered some inconclusive results, but also indications of parental background having effects on risk attitude. As this generation’s children are becoming more influential in families’ consumption patterns and beginning to make their own financial decisions, an awareness of the relationship between language and economic behavior could lead to implications in education and policy making and an understanding of how economic behavior develops over time.},
  author       = {Frederiksen, Diana},
  keyword      = {Risk preference,risk taking,behavioral economics,bilingualism,children,gender},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Risk-taking behavior in monolingual vs. bilingual children: an experiment},
  year         = {2015},
}