Is the Japanese Extended Family Altruistically Linked? A Test Based on Engel Curves
21 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2000
Date Written: February 1995
Altruism has the well-known neutrality implication that the family's demand for commodities is invariant to the division of resources within the family. We test this by estimating Engel curves on a cross-section of Japanese extended families forming two- generation households. We find that the pattern of food expenditure is significantly affected by the division of resources. The food components whose budget share increases with the older generation's share of household income are precisely those favored by the old such as cereal, seafood, and vegetables.
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