An underlying aspect of the development of fairness is the aversion to unequal treatment toward equally deserving parties. By middle childhood, children from Western cultures are even willing to discard resources to avoid inequity. Here, a series of four studies were conducted to assess the robustness of inequity aversion in a culture that emphasizes the value of “Thrift” (i.e., waste aversion). Seven-year-old Chinese participated in third-party (N = 83) and first-person (N = 116) distributive interactions and considered both inequity aversion and waste aversion. Our findings demonstrate that Chinese children accepted inequity (unlike Americans) in the presence of waste but avoided inequity (similar to Americans) in the absence of waste. Cultural and noncultural accounts of waste aversion are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31000469), and the Key Project of the 13th Five‐Year Plan of Beijing Education Sciences (BEAA19046).
© 2021 The Authors. Child Development © 2021 Society for Research in Child Development.