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Grey power and public budgets: Family altruism helps children, but not the elderly

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  • Rattsø, Jørn
  • Sørensen, Rune J.

Abstract

The literature on intergenerational conflict and public budgets has shown that the demands of the elderly may crowd out educational spending. We extend this literature to take into account altruism within the family where individuals care about the welfare of family members. The conflicting claims to the public budget will reflect the political strength of age groups, but may also be influenced by whether middle-aged have children or elderly parents in the community. We investigate the role of family altruism using both survey data and demographic and local government budget data in Norway from 1992 to 2004. Family altruism matters for local government spending on primary education, but does not affect spending on old-age care and health services. The old must take care of their own interests themselves.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 26 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 222-234

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Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:26:y:2010:i:2:p:222-234

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544

Related research

Keywords: Generational conflict Family altruism Elderly and educational spending Intergenerational linkages Local government services;

References

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  1. James M. Poterba, 1996. "Demographic Structure and the Political Economy of Public Education," NBER Working Papers 5677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Ladd, Helen F. & Murray, Sheila E., 2001. "Intergenerational conflict reconsidered: county demographic structure and the demand for public education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 343-357, August.
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  12. Harris, Amy Rehder & Evans, William N. & Schwab, Robert M., 2001. "Education spending in an aging America," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 449-472, September.
  13. Sanz, Ismael & Velazquez, Francisco J., 2007. "The role of ageing in the growth of government and social welfare spending in the OECD," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 917-931, December.
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  15. Browning, Edgar K, 1975. "Why the Social Insurance Budget Is Too Large in a Democracy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, Western Economic Association International, vol. 13(3), pages 373-88, September.
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