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Fairness in the family: implications for parent-adult child interactions

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  • Ermisch, John

Abstract

This paper advances the hypothesis that transfers of contact/in-kind help and money between parents and an adult child reflect concerns for fairness and reciprocity, and may be interpreted as a gift exchange. It is inspired by recent evidence from experiments that suggests that even strangers behave in accordance with concerns for fairness and reciprocity. The implications of this hypothesis for the relationship between parents resources and frequency of contact/in-kind are contrasted with those of efficient exchange and family constitution models of intergenerational transfers. Empirical evidence from the British Household Panel Study provides stronger support for the gift exchange model than the efficient exchange or binding constitution models.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series ISER Working Paper Series with number 2006-13.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2006
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Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2006-13

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Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
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Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
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References

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  1. Alessandro Cigno, 2003. "The Political Economy of Intergenerational Cooperation," CHILD Working Papers wp05_03, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  2. Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H. & Bernheim, B. Douglas, 1986. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Scholarly Articles 3721794, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. John Ermisch & Marco Francesconi & Thomas Siedler, 2004. "Intergenerational Economic Mobility and Assortative Mating," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 448, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  4. repec:ese:iserwp:2002-06 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Konrad, Kai A. & Künemund, Harald & Lommerud, Kjell Erik & Robledo, Julio R., 2001. "Geography of the family," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance FS IV 01-16, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  6. Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, George & Riedl, Arno, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-59, May.
  7. Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, 2003. "Wage Rigidity in a Competitive Incomplete Contract Market," Labor and Demography 0305001, EconWPA.
  8. Cigno, Alessandro, 1993. "Intergenerational transfers without altruism : Family, market and state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 505-518, November.
  9. Ermisch, John & Francesconi, Marco, 2002. "Intergenerational Social Mobility and Assortative Mating in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 465, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Bergstrom, Theodore C, 1989. "A Fresh Look at the Rotten Kid Theorem--and Other Household Mysteries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1138-59, October.
  11. Solon, Gary, 1999. "Intergenerational mobility in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 29, pages 1761-1800 Elsevier.
  12. Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Paula C. Albuquerque, 2014. "The Interaction of Private Intergenerational Transfers Types," Working Papers Department of Economics 2014/03, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.

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