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Inequality Within and Between Families

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  • Eytan Sheshinski
  • Yoram Weiss

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

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0405.

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Date of creation: Nov 1979
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Publication status: published as Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 90, no. 1 (1982): 105-127.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0405

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  1. Green, Jerry & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1975. "A Note on the Progressivity of Optimal Public Expenditures," Scholarly Articles 3203641, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1976. "Child Endowments and the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S143-62, August.
  3. Griliches, Zvi, 1979. "Sibling Models and Data in Economics: Beginnings of a Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S37-64, October.
  4. Arrow, Kenneth J, 1971. "A Utilitarian Approach to the Concept of Equality in Public Expenditure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 409-15, August.
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Cited by:
  1. 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., Agricultural and Applied Economics Association 151432, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  2. 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.
  3. Momi Dahan & Alejandro Gaviria, 1998. "Parental Actions and Siblings’ Inequality," Research Department Publications, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department 4150, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  4. Morris A. Davis & E. Michael Foster, 1999. "Intra-household allocation and the mental health of children: structural estimation analysis," Finance and Economics Discussion Series, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 1999-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Pierre Pestieau & André Masson, 1991. "Types et modèles d'héritage et leurs implications," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, Programme National Persée, vol. 100(4), pages 31-71.
  6. Quy-Toan Do & Tung D. Phung, 2010. "The Importance of Being Wanted," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 236-53, October.
  7. 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.
  8. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1984. "Heterogeneity, Intrafamily Distribution and Child Health," Bulletins, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center 8429, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  9. Momi Dahan & Alejandro Gaviria, 1998. "Actos de los padres y desigualdad entre hermanos," Research Department Publications, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department 4151, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.

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