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Do Parents and Peers Influence Adolescents’ Monetary Intelligence and Consumer Ethics? French and Chinese Adolescents and Behavioral Economics

Abstract : Adolescents have increasing discretionary income, expenditures, and purchasing power. Inventory shrinkage costs $123.4 billion globally to retail outlets. Adolescents are disproportionately responsible for theft and shoplifting. Both parents and peers significantly influence adolescents’ monetary values, materialism, and dishonesty as consumers. In this study, we develop a theoretical model involving teenagers’ social (parental and peer) attachment and their consumer ethics, treat adolescents’ money attitude in the context of youth materialism as a mediator, and simultaneously examine the direct (Social Attachment → Consumer Ethics) and indirect paths (Social Attachment → Money and Materialism → Consumer Ethics). Results of 1018 adolescents (France = 534 and China = 484; average age = 15.21) illustrate that social attachment discourages unethical beliefs directly, but encourages it indirectly through monetary values. Our multi-group analyses demonstrate a novel paradox: The correlation between parental and peer attachments is smaller in France than in China, but similar across gender. Parents contribute more than peers to social attachment in France, but both carry equal weight in China. There is a negative direct path for the Chinese sample and for girls. Indirectly, parental attachment prevents French teenagers’ unethical beliefs, whereas peer attachment promotes boys’ unethical intention, supporting the notion—bad company corrupts good morals. Across both culture and gender, monetary attitude excites dishonesty consistently for all adolescents. A negative direct path exists for Chinese boys only (the Pygmalion Effect for male little emperors). Overall, social attachment reduces unethical beliefs. Parental and peer supports shape teenagers’ monetary intelligence and ethical or unethical decision making, differently, across culture and gender. We provide theoretical, empirical, and practical implications to ethical parenting, peer attachment, monetary values, and business ethics.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01914761
Contributor : Isabelle Celet <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, November 7, 2018 - 10:34:23 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 13, 2020 - 4:01:27 PM

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Elodie Gentina, Thomas Li-Ping Tang, Qinxuan Gu. Do Parents and Peers Influence Adolescents’ Monetary Intelligence and Consumer Ethics? French and Chinese Adolescents and Behavioral Economics. Journal of Business Ethics, Springer Verlag, 2018, 151 (1), pp.115 - 140. ⟨10.1007/s10551-016-3206-7⟩. ⟨hal-01914761⟩

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