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Decision Making By Children

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  • Shelly Lundberg
  • Jennifer Romich
  • Kwok Ping Tsang

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the determinants of decision-making power by children and young adolescents. Moving beyond previous economic models that treat children as goods consumed by adults rather than agents, we develop a noncooperative model of parental control of child behavior and child resistance. Using child reports of decision-making and psychological and cognitive measures from the NLSY79 Child Supplement, we examine the determinants of shared and sole decision-making in seven domains of child activity. We find that the determinants of sole decision-making by the child and shared decision-making with parents are quite distinct: sharing decisions appears to be a form of parental investment in child development rather than a simple stage in the transfer of authority. In addition, we find that indicators of child capability and preferences affect reports of decision-making authority in ways that suggest child demand for autonomy as well as parental discretion in determining these outcomes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Washington, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number UWEC-2007-24.

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Date of creation: Jul 2007
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Handle: RePEc:udb:wpaper:uwec-2007-24

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References

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  1. Phipps , Shelley & Burton, Peter & Curtis, Lori, 2005. "All in the Family: A Simultaneous Model of Parenting Style and Child Conduct," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2005261e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  2. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-93, Nov.-Dec..
  3. Neil Bruce & Michael Waldman, 1986. "The Rotten-Kid Theorem Meets the Samaritan's Dilemma," UCLA Economics Working Papers 402, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Das, J.W.M. & Soest, A.H.O. van, 1996. "A panel data model for subjective information on household income growth," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-121740, Tilburg University.
  5. William Harbaugh & Kate Krause & Lise Vesterlund, 2002. "Risk Attitudes of Children and Adults: Choices Over Small and Large Probability Gains and Losses," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 53-84, June.
  6. Pollak, Robert A, 1988. "Tied Transfers and Paternalistic Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 240-44, May.
  7. Mette Ejrnæs & Claus Chr. Pörtner, 2002. "Birth Order and the Intrahousehold Allocation of Time and Education," CAM Working Papers 2002-09, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  8. William T. Harbaugh & Kate Krause & Timothy R. Berry, 2001. "GARP for Kids: On the Development of Rational Choice Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1539-1545, December.
  9. Chamberlain, Gary, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 225-38, January.
  10. Shelly Lundberg & Jennifer Romich & Kwok Ping Tsang, 2007. "Independence Giving or Autonomy Taking? Childhood Predictors of Decision-Making Patterns Between Young Adolescents and Parents," Working Papers UWEC-2007-23, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  11. McElroy, Marjorie B, 1985. "The Joint Determination of Household Membership and Market Work: The Case of Young Men," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 293-316, July.
  12. William Harbaugh & Kate Krause & Timothy Berry, 2001. "Garp for kids: On the development of rational choice behavior," Artefactual Field Experiments 00056, The Field Experiments Website.
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Cited by:
  1. Dauphin, Anyck & El Lahga, AbdelRahmen & Fortin, Bernard & Lacroix, Guy, 2008. "Are Children Decision-Makers Within the Household?," IZA Discussion Papers 3728, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Begoña Álvarez & Daniel Miles-Touya, 2012. "Exploring the relationship between parents’ and children’s housework time in Spain," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 299-318, June.
  3. Bell, Clive & Gersbach, Hans & Schneider, Maik T., 2012. "Raising juveniles," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 32-51.
  4. Daniela Del Boca & Chiara Monfardini & Cheti Nicoletti, 2012. "Children's and Parents' Time-Use Choices and Cognitive Development during Adolescence," Working Papers 2012-006, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  5. Alistair Munro, 2009. "Introduction to the Special Issue: Things We Do and Don’t Understand About the Household and the Environment," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 43(1), pages 1-10, May.
  6. Daniela Del Boca & Chiara Monfardini & Cheti Nicoletti, 2012. "Self investments of adolescents and their cognitive development," Discussion Papers 12/24, Department of Economics, University of York.
  7. Ana Cardoso & Elsa Fontainha & Chiara Monfardini, 2010. "Children’s and parents’ time use: empirical evidence on investment in human capital in France, Germany and Italy," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 479-504, December.
  8. Deborah Cobb-Clark & Tue Gørgens, 2014. "Parents’ economic support of young-adult children: do socioeconomic circumstances matter?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 447-471, April.
  9. Hans Gersbach & Hans Haller, 2012. "“Hard workers” and labor restrictions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 469-494, January.

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