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Intergenerational transfer of time and risk preferences

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  • Brown, Heather
  • van der Pol, Marjon

Abstract

There is a growing interest in individual time and risk preferences. Little is known about how these preferences are formed. It is hypothesised that parents may transmit their preferences to their offspring. This paper examines the correlation in offspring and parental time and risk preferences using data from an annual household survey in Australia (the HILDA survey). Both time and risk preferences are examined and we explored whether the correlation in time and risk preferences varies across the distribution of preferences and across the across the four parent–child dyads (mother/daughter, mother/son, father/daughter, father/son). The results show that there is a significant relationship between parents and their young adult offspring risk and time preference measures. The correlation varies across the distribution of time preferences. The correlation was largest for longer planning horizons. Risk averse parents are more likely to have risk averse children. Except for the father/daughter dyad risk seeking parents are more likely to have risk seeking offspring. Some gender differences were found. The association in parental and offspring time preference was larger for mothers than fathers. Daughters are more likely to be influenced by their mother’s risk preferences, however, sons are equally influenced by both parents. The results of this study suggest that the transmission in preferences is more nuanced than previously thought and parental gender may be important.

Suggested Citation

  • Brown, Heather & van der Pol, Marjon, 2015. "Intergenerational transfer of time and risk preferences," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 187-204.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:49:y:2015:i:c:p:187-204
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2015.06.003
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    4. Andreoni, James & Di Girolamo, Amalia & List, John A. & Mackevicius, Claire & Samek, Anya, 2020. "Risk preferences of children and adolescents in relation to gender, cognitive skills, soft skills, and executive functions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 729-742.
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    6. Nolan, Anne & Whelan, Adele & McGuinness, Seamus & Maître, Bertrand, 2019. "Gender, pensions and income in retirement," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS87, November.
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    8. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Dahmann, Sarah Christina & Kamhöfer, Daniel A. & Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah, 2019. "Self-control: Determinants, life outcomes and intergenerational implications," DICE Discussion Papers 319, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
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    10. Yingyu Zhang & Hui Luan & Wei Shao & Yingjun Xu, 2016. "Managerial risk preference and its influencing factors: analysis of large state-owned enterprises management personnel in China," Risk Management, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 18(2), pages 135-158, August.
    11. Philipp Huebler, 2017. "Heritability of time preference: Evidence from German twin data," Discussion Paper Series 334, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
    12. Philipp Huebler & Andreas Kucher, 2016. "Ashes to ashes, time to time - Parental time discounting and its role in the intergenerational transmission of smoking," Discussion Paper Series 326, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
    13. Ning Tang, 2017. "Like Father Like Son: How Does Parents' Financial Behavior Affect Their Children's Financial Behavior?," Journal of Consumer Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 284-311, July.
    14. Tim Friehe & Markus Pannenberg, 2020. "Time preferences and political regimes: evidence from reunified Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(1), pages 349-387, January.
    15. François-Charles Wolff, 2020. "The intergenerational transmission of risk attitudes: Evidence from Burkina Faso," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 181-206, March.
    16. Hübler, Philipp, 2017. "Heritability of time preference: Evidence from German twin data," MPRA Paper 77620, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational transfer; Risk preference; Time preferences; Generalised ordered probit; Australia;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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