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Inequality within and between Families

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  • Sheshinski, Eytan
  • Weiss, Yoram

Abstract

Between-family differences in expenditures and output reflect the effect of simultaneous increases in children's ability on the willingness of parents to transfer resources to them. Within-family differences also reflect the attitudes of parents toward disparity among children. In this paper we characterize the conditions on parents' preferences that determine whether between-family differences exceed within-family differences. For an additive utility, within-family differences in expenditures always exceed between-family differences. This may also be true for the maximum utility function if an increase in ability reduces the marginal utility of income. Within-family differences in output (utility or income) can also exceed between-family differences. In this case, the implication for income distribution is that equality is enhanced by a higher correlation of ability between brothers.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 90 (1982)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 105-27

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:90:y:1982:i:1:p:105-27

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  1. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1976. "Child Endowments, and the Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Working Papers 0123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Arrow, Kenneth J, 1971. "A Utilitarian Approach to the Concept of Equality in Public Expenditure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 409-15, August.
  3. Green, Jerry & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1975. "A Note on the Progressivity of Optimal Public Expenditures," Scholarly Articles 3203641, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Griliches, Zvi, 1979. "Sibling Models and Data in Economics: Beginnings of a Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S37-64, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Nathalie Picard & François-Charles Wolff, 2007. "Measuring educational inequalities:A method and an application to Albania," THEMA Working Papers 2007-21, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  2. Dahan, Momi & Gaviria, Alejandro, 2003. "Parental actions and sibling inequality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 281-297, October.
  3. Pierre Pestieau & André Masson, 1991. "Types et modèles d'héritage et leurs implications," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 100(4), pages 31-71.
  4. Quy-Toan Do & Tung D. Phung, 2010. "The Importance of Being Wanted," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 236-53, October.
  5. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1984. "Heterogeneity, Intrafamily Distribution and Child Health," Bulletins 8429, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  6. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1986. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," NBER Working Papers 1793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Deininger, Klaus W. & Jin, Songqing & Nagarajan, Hari & Xia, Fang, 2013. "How Far Does the Amendment to the Hindu Succession Act Reach? Evidence from Two-Generation Females in Urban India," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 151432, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  8. Morris A. Davis & E. Michael Foster, 1999. "Intra-household allocation and the mental health of children: structural estimation analysis," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Momi Dahan & Alejandro Gaviria, 1998. "Actos de los padres y desigualdad entre hermanos," Research Department Publications 4151, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.

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