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Altruism Vs. Exchange In Intergenerational Transfers: New Evidence From Children'S Health Care

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  • Andrés Romeu

    ()
    (Universidad de Alicante)

  • Ignacio Ortuño Ortín

    (Universidad de Alicante)

Abstract

We put in perspective two competing hypothesis on the nature of intergenerational transfers: altruism vs. exchange motivation. Unlike previous approaches, we concentrate on non-monetary transfers measured as the effort that parents need to make in order to prevent children?s fatal health episodes. It is shown that, under the pure altruism hypothesis richer parents should be more prompt than poorer ones to exert this effort in the face of a bad-health signal. Inversely, richer parents would need to observe a higher signal than poorer when parents consider raising healthy children as an investment for the future times. Using data on frequency of utilization of the emergency room services and doctor?s office visits by low-age children, infant mortality and home-accident preventive care, we reject the null of altruism. Instead, we conclude that exchange motives do not enter into contradiction with the evidence.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie) in its series Working Papers. Serie AD with number 2003-26.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by Ivie
Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2003-26

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Keywords: Intergenerational transfers; altruism and exchange motivations; child;

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References

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  1. Janet Currie & Patricia Reagan, 1998. "Distance to Hospitals and Children's Access to Care: Is Being Closer Better, and for Whom?," NBER Working Papers 6836, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Joseph G. Altonji & Fumio Hayashi & Laurence Kotlikoff, 1995. "Parental Altruism and Inter Vivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. McGarry, K & Schoeni, R-F, 1996. "Measurement and the Redistribution of Resources Within the Family," Papers 96-11, RAND - Reprint Series.
  14. Deb, Partha & Trivedi, Pravin K, 1997. "Demand for Medical Care by the Elderly: A Finite Mixture Approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 313-36, May-June.
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