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The Intergenerational Transmission of Risk and Trust Attitudes

Author

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  • Thomas Dohmen
  • Armin Falk
  • David Huffman
  • Uwe Sunde

Abstract

Recent theoretical contributions depart from the usual practice of treating individual attitude endowments as a black box, by assuming that these are shaped by the attitudes of parents and other role models. Attitudes include fundamental preferences such as risk preference, and crucial beliefs about the world, such as trust. This paper provides evidence on the three main mechanisms for attitude transmission highlighted in the theoretical literature: (1) transmission of attitudes from parents to children; (2) positive assortative mating of parents, which tends to reinforce the impact of parents on the child; (3) an impact of prevailing attitudes in the local environment. Investigating these mechanisms is important because they are crucial assumptions underlying a large literature. It also sheds light on the basic question of where individual attitude endowments come from, and the factors that determine these drivers of economic behavior. The findings are supportive of attitude transmission models, and indicate that all three mechanisms play a role in shaping economically relevant attitudes.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2008. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Risk and Trust Attitudes," CESifo Working Paper Series 2307, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2307
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    Cited by:

    1. Bartzsch Nikolaus, 2008. "Precautionary Saving and Income Uncertainty in Germany – New Evidence from Microdata," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 228(1), pages 5-24, February.
    2. Carpenter, Jeffrey & Myers, Caitlin Knowles, 2010. "Why volunteer? Evidence on the role of altruism, image, and incentives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 911-920, December.
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    4. Svendsen, Gunnar Lind Haase & Svendsen, Gert Tinggaard, 2016. "How did trade norms evolve in Scandinavia? Long-distance trade and social trust in the Viking age," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 198-205.
    5. Durante, Ruben, 2009. "Risk, Cooperation and the Economic Origins of Social Trust: an Empirical Investigation," MPRA Paper 25887, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Erik Grönqvist & Björn Öckert & Jonas Vlachos, 2017. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 52(4), pages 887-918.
    7. repec:zbw:rwirep:0318 is not listed on IDEAS
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    12. Lönnqvist, Jan-Erik & Verkasalo, Markku & Walkowitz, Gari & Wichardt, Philipp C., 2015. "Measuring individual risk attitudes in the lab: Task or ask? An empirical comparison," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 254-266.
    13. Jan-Erik Loennqvist & Markku Verkasalo & Gari Walkowitz & Philipp C. Wichardt, 2011. "Measuring Individual Risk Attitudes in the Lab: Task or Ask? An Empirical Comparison," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 02-03, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
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    15. Miles S. Kimball & Claudia R. Sahm & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2009. "Risk Preferences in the PSID: Individual Imputations and Family Covariation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 363-368, May.
    16. Vipul Bhatt, 2011. "Adolescent Alcohol Use and Intergenerational Transfers: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 296-307, June.
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    20. Anh Duc Dang, 2012. "Cooperation makes beliefs: Weather variation and sources of social trust in Vietnam," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2012-596, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    21. Lars Kunze, 2012. "Like Father, Like Son: Inheriting and Bequeathing," Ruhr Economic Papers 0318, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    22. Anh Duc Dang, 2012. "On the Sources of Risk Preferences in Rural Vietnam," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2012-593, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    23. Vipul Bhatt & Masao Ogaki, 2012. "Tough Love And Intergenerational Altruism," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(3), pages 791-814, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    risk preferences; trust; intergenerational transmission; cultural economics; family economics; assortative mating; social interactions; SOEP;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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