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Intergenerational Transmission of Risk Attitudes: A Revealed Preference Approach

  • Andrea Leuermann
  • Sarah Necker
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    This study investigates whether the willingness to take income risks revealed by occupational choice is transmitted from parents to their children. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), we find that fathers' riskiness of job is a significant determinant of children's occupational risk, in particular sons' (excluding parent-child pairs with identical occupations). This is the first piece of evidence for intergenerational transmission of risk attitudes relying on real world behavior. It shows that not only individuals' own assessments of their risk attitudes correlate (found by previous studies) but also risk preferences shown in exactly the same situation.

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    Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 412.

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    Length: 40 p.
    Date of creation: 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp412
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    2. Allan G. King, 1974. "Occupational Choice, Risk Aversion, and Wealth," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 27(4), pages 586-596, July.
    3. Christian Pfeifer, 2011. "Risk Aversion and Sorting into Public Sector Employment," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(1), pages 85-99, 02.
    4. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2011. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants, And Behavioral Consequences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 522-550, 06.
    5. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Kunze, Astrid, 2005. "Vocational Training and Gender: Wages and Occupational Mobility among young Workers," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-66, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Dohmen T.J. & Falk A., 2010. "Performance pay and multi-dimensional sorting - Productivity, preferences and gender," Research Memorandum 012, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    7. Joop Hartog & Erik Plug & Luis Diaz Serrano & Jose Vieira, 2003. "Risk compensation in wages – a replication," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 639-647, July.
    8. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Luigi Guiso & Monica Paiella, 2005. "The Role Of Risk Aversion In Predicting Individual Behavior," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 546, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    10. Miles S. Kimball & Claudia R. Sahm & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2009. "Risk Preferences in the PSID: Individual Imputations and Family Covariation," NBER Working Papers 14754, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 2001. "Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 67-72, May.
    12. Schultz, T.P. & Mwabu, G., 1995. "Education Returns Across Quantiles of the Wage Function: Alternative Explanation for Returns to Education by Race in South Africa," Papers 744, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    13. Hartog, Joop & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Jonker, Nicole, 2002. "Linking Measured Risk Aversion to Individual Characteristics," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 3-26.
    14. Lisa R. Anderson & Jennifer M. Mellor, 2008. "Are Risk Preferences Stable? Comparing an Experimental Measure with a Validated Survey-Based Measure," Working Papers 74, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
    15. Guido Heineck & Bernd Süssmuth, 2010. "A Different Look at Lenin's Legacy: Trust, Risk, Fairness and Cooperativeness in the two Germanies," CESifo Working Paper Series 3199, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. Luc Arrondel, 2009. ""My Father was right": The transmission of values between generations," PSE Working Papers halshs-00566808, HAL.
    17. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 9.
    18. Ekelund, Jesper & Johansson, Edvard & Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta & Lichtermann, Dirk, 2005. "Self-employment and risk aversion--evidence from psychological test data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(5), pages 649-659, October.
    19. Maria De Paola, 2010. "The Determinants Of Risk Aversion: The Role Of Intergenerational Transmission," Working Papers 201016, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).
    20. Dmytro Hryshko & María José Luengo‐Prado & Bent E. Sørensen, 2011. "Childhood determinants of risk aversion: The long shadow of compulsory education," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 2(1), pages 37-72, 03.
    21. William R. Johnson, 1977. "Uncertainty and the Distribution of Earnings," NBER Chapters, in: The Distribution of Economic Well-Being, pages 379-396 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
    23. Jacob Mincer, 1958. "Investment in Human Capital and Personal Income Distribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 281.
    24. Thomas DeLeire & Helen Levy, 2004. "Worker Sorting and the Risk of Death on the Job," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 925-954, October.
    25. Robert B. Barsky & F. Thomas Juster & Miles S. Kimball & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-579.
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