Parenting with Style: Altruism and Paternalism in Intergenerational Preference Transmission

University of Zurich, Department of Economics Working Paper No. 104

54 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2013

See all articles by Matthias Doepke

Matthias Doepke

Northwestern University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Fabrizio Zilibotti

Yale University; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 5 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 1, 2012

Abstract

We construct a theory of intergenerational preference transmission that rationalizes the choice between alternative parenting styles (related to Baumrind 1967). Parents maximize an objective function that combines Beckerian and paternalistic altruism towards children. They can affect their children’s choices via two channels: either by influencing their preferences or by imposing direct restrictions on their choice sets. Different parenting styles (authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive) emerge as equilibrium outcomes, and are affected both by parental preferences and by the socioeconomic environment. We consider two applications: patience and risk aversion. We argue that parenting styles may be important for explaining why different groups or societies develop different attitudes towards human capital formation, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Keywords: Intergenerational Preference Transmission, altruism, paternalism, entrepreneurship, innovation

JEL Classification: D10, J10, O10, O40

Suggested Citation

Doepke, Matthias and Zilibotti, Fabrizio, Parenting with Style: Altruism and Paternalism in Intergenerational Preference Transmission (December 1, 2012). University of Zurich, Department of Economics Working Paper No. 104, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2197917 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2197917

Matthias Doepke (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Department of Economics ( email )

2003 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Fabrizio Zilibotti

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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