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On the intergenerational transmission of preferences

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Abstract

Recent contributions in economics have argued for a re-introduction of preference-based approaches to economic behavior and have called for an empirical investigation of preferences in order to overcome the prevalent skepticism against such explanations within the discipline. The present paper contributes to this discussion by assessing the extent, specificity, and malleability of preference transmission from parents to their children, and thus provides evidence for the clustering of preferences along family lines. Using data on eight activity choices from the British Household Panel Survey, we find strong (and positive) correlations between preferences of parents and their adult children. These correlations are found to be robust to a wide number of robustness checks but to vary considerably across activities, suggesting that parents may have more influence over some preferences than over others. Further investigations also show that this influence is surprisingly robust to a wide number of potentially intervening factors. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin Volland, 2013. "On the intergenerational transmission of preferences," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 217-249, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbioec:v:15:y:2013:i:3:p:217-249
    DOI: 10.1007/s10818-012-9149-x
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Andreas Chai, 2017. "Tackling Keynes’ question: a look back on 15 years of Learning To Consume," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 251-271, April.
    3. Contreras Suarez, Diana & Cameron, Lisa A., 2016. "Conditional Cash Transfers: Do They Change Time Preferences and Educational Aspirations?," IZA Discussion Papers 10309, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Benjamin Volland, 2013. "Conscientious consumers? Preferences, personality and expenditure in the UK," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2013-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational transmission of preferences; Preference dynamics; Activity choice; J13; J22;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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