Jean-Pierre Prou

Last year, I worked in the master 2 on “The endowment effect among 3-to-5-year-old Kanak preschoolers” in New Caledonia.
The endowment effect is one of experimental economy’s major discoveries. The aim of this piece of research is to study the presence of the endowment effect in Kanak children, whose schools are in two deprived neighbourhoods of Noumea, New Caledonia. Our study involved 180 three-to-five-year-old children and was inspired by Knetsch (1989)’s methodology, in its standard condition. The results show an extremely important reverse effect between ages 3 and 4 that could be explained by an effect of curiosity in the presence of new elements. On the developmental level, an endowment effect can be observed from age five, in accordance with Harbaught & al (2001). This age is the landmark from which the rules dealing with the presentation of a gift are integrated and the children’s justifications of their choice imply the politeness effect, as identified by Baratgin, Jamet & Chevassut (2014).
Our group of children live in Nouméa. They have no relations with the Kanak culture and their tribe. They only speak French. They don’t speak any vernacular language.

This study opens up to further research in schools situated next to tribes living in the North Province and the Loyauté Islands in order to identify even more precisely the impact of socio-economic, educational and cultural factors, as well as social norms and politeness rules.

This year, I started a thesis entitled “endowment effect and Kanak culture”.

In December 2015, a poster depicting the results of the research of master 2 was presented at a congress in Kielce in Poland.