DP12253 The Determinants of Strategic Thinking in Preschool Children

Author(s): Isabelle Brocas, Juan D Carrillo
Publication Date: August 2017
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Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12253

Strategic thinking is an essential component of rational decision-making. However, little is known about its developmental aspects. Here we show that preschoolers can reason strategically in simple individual decisions that require to anticipate a limited number of future decisions. This ability is transferred only partially to solve more complex individual decision problems or to efficiently interact with others. This ability is also more developed among older children in the classroom. The results indicate that while preschoolers potentially have the capacity to think strategically, it does not always translate into acting strategically.