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Altruism, Favoritism, and Guilt in the Allocation of Family Resources: Sophie's Choice in Mao's Mass Send-Down Movement

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  • Hongbin Li
  • Mark Rosenzweig
  • Junsen Zhang

Abstract

We use survey data on twins in urban China, among whom many experienced the consequences of the forced mass rustication movement of the Cultural Revolution, to identify the roles of altruism, favoritism, and guilt in affecting family behavior. We exploit the fact that many families were forced to select one of their adolescent children to be sent down. We show the conditions under which guilt, favoritism, and altruism can be identified using such data. We find that parents behaved altruistically, showed favoritism, but also exhibited guilt: the child experiencing more rustication years received higher parental transfers despite having higher earnings. (c) 2010 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 118 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 1-38

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:118:y:2010:i:1:p:1-38

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  1. Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus & Tjøtta, Sigve & Torsvik, Gaute, 2010. "Testing guilt aversion," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 95-107, January.
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  8. Zhang, Junsen & Liu, Pak-Wai & Yung, Linda, 2007. "The Cultural Revolution and returns to schooling in China: Estimates based on twins," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 631-639, November.
  9. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  10. Meng, Xin & Gregory, R G, 2002. "The Impact of Interrupted Education on Subsequent Educational Attainment: A Cost of the Chinese Cultural Revolution," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(4), pages 935-59, July.
  11. John Giles & Albert Park & Fang Cai, 2003. "How has Economic Restructuring Affected China’s Urban Workers?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-628, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  12. Giles, John & Park, Albert & Wang, Meiyan, 2008. "The great proletarian cultural revolution, disruptions to education, and returns to schooling in urban China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4729, The World Bank.
  13. Behrman, Jere R. & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 1999. ""Ability" biases in schooling returns and twins: a test and new estimates," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 159-167, April.
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  17. Miettinen, T. & Suetens, S., 2008. "Communication and Guilt in a Prisoner's Dilemma," Discussion Paper 2008-12, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. A measure of guilt
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-05-13 14:07:00
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Cited by:
  1. Mark Rosenzweig & Junsen Zhang, 2012. "Economic Growth, Comparative Advantage, and Gender Differences in Schooling Outcomes: Evidence from the Birthweight Differences of Chinese Twins," Working Papers id:4779, eSocialSciences.
  2. Juan Yang & Shi Li, 2011. "The impact of rustication on sent-down cohorts’ income," Frontiers of Economics in China, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 290-310, June.
  3. Paul Frijters & David Johnston & Manisha Shah & Michael Shields, 2013. "Intrahousehold Resource Allocation: Do Parents Reduce or Reinforce Child Ability Gaps?," Demography, Springer, vol. 50(6), pages 2187-2208, December.
  4. Li, Hongbin & Liu, Pak Wai & Zhang, Junsen, 2012. "Estimating returns to education using twins in urban China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 494-504.
  5. Grijalva, Therese & Berrens, Robert P. & Shaw, W. Douglass, 2011. "Species preservation versus development: An experimental investigation under uncertainty," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(5), pages 995-1005, March.
  6. Mark Rosenzweig & Junsen Zhang, 2014. "Co-residence, Life-Cycle Savings and Inter- Generational Support in Urban China," Working Papers 1039, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  7. Maitra, Pushkar & Pal, Sarmistha & Sharma, Anurag, 2011. "Reforms, Growth and Persistence of Gender Gap: Recent Evidence from Private School Enrolment in India," IZA Discussion Papers 6135, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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