Parenting with Style: Altruism and Paternalism in Intergenerational Preference Transmission

University of Zurich, UBS International Center of Economics in Society, Working Paper No. 8

40 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2014

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: June 2014

Abstract

We develop a theory of intergenerational transmission of preferences that rationalizes the choice between alternative parenting styles (as set out in Baumrind 1967). Parents maximize an objective function that combines Beckerian altruism and paternalism towards children. They can affect their children’s choices via two channels: either by influencing children’s 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. Parenting style, in turn, feeds back into the children’s welfare and economic success. The theory is consistent with the decline of authoritarian parenting observed in industrialized countries, and with the greater prevalence of more permissive parenting in countries characterized by low inequality.

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 (June 2014). University of Zurich, UBS International Center of Economics in Society, Working Paper No. 8, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2464142 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2464142

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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