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Family ties, incentives and development: A model of coerced altruism

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Abstract

We analyze the effects of family ties on the incentives for production of effort, where family ties are defined as a mixture of true and coerced altruism between family members. We model families as pairs of siblings. Each sibling exerts effort in order to obtain output under uncertainty. A social norm dictates that a sibling with a high output must share a specified amount of this output with his sibling, if the latter is output is low. Siblings may be truly altruistic towards each other, but not to a larger degree than dictated by the social norm. We compare such informal family insurance with actuarially fair formal insurance.

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File URL: http://www1.carleton.ca/economics/research/working-papers/carleton-economic-papers-cep-2001-2010/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Carleton University, Department of Economics in its series Carleton Economic Papers with number 07-10.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 24 Oct 2007
Date of revision: 2008
Publication status: Published: Revised version in Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya Sen, Volume II: Society, Institutions, and Development, ed. Kaushik Basu and Ravi Kanburn, Oxford University Press, 2008
Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:07-10

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Keywords: altruism; coerced altruism; family ties; insurance; moral hazard.;

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References

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  1. Arnott, Richard & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1991. "Moral Hazard and Nonmarket Institutions: Dysfunctional Crowding Out or Peer Monitoring?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 179-90, March.
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  3. Alger, Ingela & Weibull, Jörgen, 2007. "The Fetters of the Sib: Weber Meets Darwin," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 682, Stockholm School of Economics.
  4. Bramoullé, Yann & Kranton, Rachel, 2007. "Risk-sharing networks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(3-4), pages 275-294.
  5. Mark Rosenzweig & Andrew D. Foster, 1995. "Imperfect Commitment, Altruism, and the Family: Evidence from Transfer Behavior in Low-Income Rural Areas," Home Pages _075, University of Pennsylvania.
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  15. Coate, Stephen & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Reciprocity without commitment : Characterization and performance of informal insurance arrangements," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-24, February.
  16. Douglas Miller & Anna Paulson, 2000. "Informal Insurance and Moral Hazard: Gambling and Remittances in Thailand," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1463, Econometric Society.
  17. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2010. "The power of the family," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 93-125, June.
  18. Wolff, Francois-Charles, 2006. "Microeconomic models of family transfers," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
  19. Ethan Ligon & Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2002. "Informal Insurance Arrangements with Limited Commitment: Theory and Evidence from Village Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 209-244.
  20. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W, 1988. "Altruism and Time Consistency: The Economics of Fait Accompli," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1165-82, December.
  21. Donald Cox & Emanuela Galasso & Emmauel Jiminez, 2006. "Private Transfers in a Cross Section of Developing Countries," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2006-1, Center for Retirement Research, revised Jan 2006.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ingela Alger & J�rgen W. Weibull, 2010. "Kinship, Incentives, and Evolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1725-58, September.
  2. Renaud Bourlès & Yann Bramoullé, 2013. "Altruism in Networks," Working Papers halshs-00881451, HAL.
  3. Alger, Ingela & Weibull, Jörgen, 2007. "The Fetters of the Sib: Weber Meets Darwin," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 682, Stockholm School of Economics.
  4. Grimm, Michael & Hartwig, Renate & Lay, Jann, 2013. "Does Forced Solidarity Hamper Investment in Small and Micro Enterprises?," IZA Discussion Papers 7229, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Ingela Alger & Jörgen W. Weibul, 2007. "Kinship, Incentives and Evolution – revised version: Kinship, Incentives, and Evolution," Carleton Economic Papers 07-13, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 17 Sep 2010.

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