Self-Enforcing Intergenerational Transfers and the Provision of Education

25 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2002

See all articles by Dan Anderberg

Dan Anderberg

University of London, Royal Holloway College - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Alessandro Balestrino

Universita di Pisa - Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: December 2001

Abstract

Due to the presence of borrowing constraints in the market, the cost of educating the young members of a family is often borne by the adults. We consider intrafamily financing of human capital under the assumptions that individuals are selfish and binding contracts are not feasible. Cooperation among family members is possible through a family norm (a family "social capital") which prescribes the obligations to be met at each stage in life and sanctions for those who deviate. We note that it is crucial that transfers to education are combined with intrafamily transfers to old-family members. We characterize the set of self-enforcing transfers and show that there is a downward bias in the family provision of education. This gives a rationale for public action as a remedy to the lack of commitment between selfish family members. The analysis also points to a number of potential effects of education policy and public pensions on human capital formation.

Keywords: Human capital investments, self-enforceable transfers, intergenerational trade, education policy

JEL Classification: D91, H22, I21

Suggested Citation

Anderberg, Dan and Balestrino, Alessandro, Self-Enforcing Intergenerational Transfers and the Provision of Education (December 2001). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=296533

Dan Anderberg (Contact Author)

University of London, Royal Holloway College - Department of Economics ( email )

Royal Holloway College
Egham
Surrey, Surrey TW20 0EX
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Alessandro Balestrino

Universita di Pisa - Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche ( email )

Sede di Scienze Politiche, via Serafini 3
I-56126 Pisa
Italy
+39 050 221 2437 (Phone)
+39 050 221 2450 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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