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Family Ties

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Author Info

  • Alesina, Alberto

    ()
    (Harvard University)

  • Giuliano, Paola

    ()
    (University of California, Los Angeles)

Abstract

We study the role of the most primitive institution in society: the family. Its organization and relationship between generations shape values formation, economic outcomes and influences national institutions. We use a measure of family ties, constructed from the World Values Survey, to review and extend the literature on the effect of family ties on economic behavior and economic attitudes. We show that strong family ties are negatively correlated with generalized trust; they imply more household production and less participation in the labor market of women, young adult and elderly. They are correlated with lower interest and participation in political activities and prefer labor market regulation and welfare systems based upon the family rather than the market or the government. Strong family ties may interfere with activities leading to faster growth, but they may provide relief from stress, support to family members and increased wellbeing. We argue that the value regarding the strength of family relationships are very persistent over time, more so than institutions like labor market regulation or welfare systems.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7376.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7376

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Keywords: family values; cultural economics; labor market regulations; growth; institutions;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Graziella Bertocchi & Monica Bozzano, 2013. "Family Structure and the Education Gender Gap: Evidence from Italian Provinces," CESifo Working Paper Series 4460, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Olivetti, Claudia & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2013. "Mothers, Friends and Gender Identity," CEPR Discussion Papers 9712, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Battistin, Erich & De Nadai, Michele & Padula, Mario, 2014. "Roadblocks on the Road to Grandma's House: Fertility Consequences of Delayed Retirement," CEPR Discussion Papers 9945, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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