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Altruism, Favoritism, and Guilt in the Allocation of Family Resources: Sophie's Choice in Mao's Mass Send-Down Movement

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  • Hongbin Li
  • Mark Rosenzweig
  • Junsen Zhang

Abstract

We use survey data on twins in urban China, among whom many experienced the consequences of the forced mass rustication movement of the Cultural Revolution, to identify the roles of altruism, favoritism, and guilt in affecting family behavior. We exploit the fact that many families were forced to select one of their adolescent children to be sent down. We show the conditions under which guilt, favoritism, and altruism can be identified using such data. We find that parents behaved altruistically, showed favoritism, but also exhibited guilt: the child experiencing more rustication years received higher parental transfers despite having higher earnings. (c) 2010 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

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  • Hongbin Li & Mark Rosenzweig & Junsen Zhang, 2010. "Altruism, Favoritism, and Guilt in the Allocation of Family Resources: Sophie's Choice in Mao's Mass Send-Down Movement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-38, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:118:y:2010:i:1:p:1-38
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    1. A measure of guilt
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-05-13 19:07:00

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    1. repec:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:2:p:261-270 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Paul Frijters & David Johnston & Manisha Shah & Michael Shields, 2013. "Intrahousehold Resource Allocation: Do Parents Reduce or Reinforce Child Ability Gaps?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(6), pages 2187-2208, December.
    3. Yi Fan, 2017. "Does Adversity Affect Long-Term Consumption and Financial Behaviour? Evidence from China's Rustication Programme," ERES eres2017_148, European Real Estate Society (ERES).
    4. Behrman, Jere R. & Xiong, Yanyan & Zhang, Junsen, 2015. "Cross-sectional schooling-health associations misrepresented causal schooling effects on adult health and health-related behaviors: Evidence from the Chinese Adults Twins Survey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 190-197.
    5. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Zhang, Junsen, 2013. "Economic growth, comparative advantage, and gender differences in schooling outcomes: Evidence from the birthweight differences of Chinese twins," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 245-260.
    6. Giles, John T. & Park, Albert & Wang, Meiyan, 2015. "The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, Disruptions to Education, and the Returns to Schooling in Urban China," IZA Discussion Papers 8930, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Wang, Shun & Zhou, Weina, 2017. "The Unintended Long-Term Consequences of Mao’s Mass Send-Down Movement: Marriage, Social Network, and Happiness," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 344-359.
    8. Xue, Melanie Meng & Koyama, Mark, 2018. "Autocratic Rule and Social Capital: Evidence from Imperial China," MPRA Paper 84249, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Mark Rosenzweig & Junsen Zhang, 2014. "Co-residence, Life-Cycle Savings and Inter- Generational Support in Urban China," Working Papers 1039, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    10. Li, Hongbin & Liu, Pak Wai & Zhang, Junsen, 2012. "Estimating returns to education using twins in urban China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 494-504.
    11. Zhong, Hai, 2016. "Effects of quantity of education on health: A regression discontinuity design approach based on the Chinese Cultural Revolution," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 62-74.
    12. Soo Hong Chew & Junjian Yi & Junsen Zhang & Songfa Zhong, 2016. "Education and anomalies in decision making: Experimental evidence from Chinese adult twins," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 163-200, December.
    13. repec:spr:soinre:v:134:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1421-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Grijalva, Therese & Berrens, Robert P. & Shaw, W. Douglass, 2011. "Species preservation versus development: An experimental investigation under uncertainty," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(5), pages 995-1005, March.
    15. Maitra, Pushkar & Pal, Sarmistha & Sharma, Anurag, 2011. "Reforms, Growth and Persistence of Gender Gap: Recent Evidence from Private School Enrolment in India," IZA Discussion Papers 6135, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Chew, Soo Hong & Yi, Junjian & Zhang, Junsen & Zhong, Songfa, 2017. "Risk Aversion and Son Preference: Experimental Evidence from Chinese Twin Parents," IZA Discussion Papers 10519, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Loren Brandt & Aloysius Siow & Hui Wang, 2015. "Compensating for unequal parental investments in schooling," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(2), pages 423-462, April.
    18. Juan Yang & Shi Li, 2011. "The impact of rustication on sent-down cohorts’ income," Frontiers of Economics in China, Springer;Higher Education Press, vol. 6(2), pages 290-310, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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    1. Altruism, Favoritism, and Guilt in the Allocation of Family Resources: Sophie’s Choice in Mao’s Mass Send‐Down Movement (JPE 2010) in ReplicationWiki
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