IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hhs/hastef/0681.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Family ties, incentives and development: a model of coerced altruism

Author

Listed:
  • Alger, Ingela

    () (Carleton University)

  • Weibull, Jörgen

    () (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

Abstract

We analyze the effects of family ties on the incentives for production of effort, where family ties are defined as a mixture of true and coerced altruism between family members. We model families as pairs of siblings. Each sibling exerts effort in order to obtain output under uncertainty. A social norm dictates that a sibling with a high output must share a specified amount of this output with his sibling, if the latter's output is low. Siblings may be truly altruistic towards each other, but not to a larger degree than dictated by the social norm. We compare such informal family insurance with actuarially fair formal insurance. We show that coerced family altruism reduces individual efforts in equilibrium. However, individuals always benefit ex ante from living in families with coerced altruism, as compared with living in autarky. We show that a certain degree of coerced family altruism is robust as a social norm in a society of selfish individuals. Finally, we show that if family members are sufficiently altruistic to each other, then informal family insurance by way of coerced altruism may outperform actuarially fair insurance programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Alger, Ingela & Weibull, Jörgen, 2007. "Family ties, incentives and development: a model of coerced altruism," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 681, Stockholm School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0681
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://swopec.hhs.se/hastef/papers/hastef0681.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-1093, Nov.-Dec..
    2. Ethan Ligon & Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 2002. "Informal Insurance Arrangements with Limited Commitment: Theory and Evidence from Village Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 209-244.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2010. "The power of the family," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 93-125, June.
    4. Bramoullé, Yann & Kranton, Rachel, 2007. "Risk-sharing networks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(3-4), pages 275-294.
    5. Jean-Paul Azam & Flore Gubert, 2005. "Those in Kayes. The Impact of Remittances on Their Recipients in Africa," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 56(6), pages 1331-1358.
    6. Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-591, May.
    7. Alberto Bennardo & Pierre-Andre Chiappori, 2003. "Bertrand and Walras Equilibria under Moral Hazard," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 785-817, August.
    8. Richard Arnott & Joseph Stiglitz, 1986. "The Welfare Economics of Moral Hazard," Working Papers 635, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    9. Posner, Richard A, 1980. "A Theory of Primitive Society, with Special Reference to Law," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 1-53, April.
    10. Garance Genicot & Debraj Ray, 2003. "Group Formation in Risk-Sharing Arrangements," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 87-113.
    11. Wolff, Francois-Charles & Laferrere, Anne, 2006. "Microeconomic models of family transfers," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
    12. Arnott, Richard & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1991. "Moral Hazard and Nonmarket Institutions: Dysfunctional Crowding Out or Peer Monitoring?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 179-190, March.
    13. Cox, Donald & Jimenez, Emmanuel, 1990. "Achieving Social Objectives through Private Transfers: A Review," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 5(2), pages 205-218, July.
    14. Helpman, Elhanan & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1975. "On moral hazard in general equilibrium theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 8-23, February.
    15. Beatriz Armendariz & Jonathan Morduch, 2007. "The Economics of Microfinance," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262512017, January.
    16. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W, 1988. "Altruism and Time Consistency: The Economics of Fait Accompli," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1165-1182, December.
    17. Alger, Ingela & Weibull, Jörgen, 2007. "The Fetters of the Sib: Weber Meets Darwin," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 682, Stockholm School of Economics.
    18. Andrew D. Foster & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2001. "Imperfect Commitment, Altruism, And The Family: Evidence From Transfer Behavior In Low-Income Rural Areas," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 389-407, August.
    19. Coate, Stephen & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Reciprocity without commitment : Characterization and performance of informal insurance arrangements," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-24, February.
    20. Douglas Miller & Anna Paulson, 2000. "Informal Insurance and Moral Hazard: Gambling and Remittances in Thailand," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1463, Econometric Society.
    21. Arnott, Richard J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1988. " The Basic Analytics of Moral Hazard," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 90(3), pages 383-413.
    22. Benoit Dostie & Désiré Vencatachellum, 2004. "Compulsory and Voluntary Remittances: Evidence from Child Domestic Workers in Tunisia," Cahiers de recherche 04-04, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
    23. Donald Cox & Emanuela Galasso & Emmauel Jiminez, 2006. "Private Transfers in a Cross Section of Developing Countries," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2006-1, Center for Retirement Research, revised Jan 2006.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Alger, Ingela & Weibull, Jörgen, 2007. "The Fetters of the Sib: Weber Meets Darwin," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 682, Stockholm School of Economics.
    2. repec:wly:emetrp:v:85:y:2017:i::p:675-689 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ingela Alger & Jörgen W. Weibull, 2010. "Kinship, Incentives, and Evolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1725-1758, September.
    4. Renaud Bourlès & Yann Bramoullé & Eduardo Perez‐Richet, 2017. "Altruism in Networks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 675-689, March.
    5. Grimm, Michael & Hartwig, Renate & Lay, Jann, 2017. "Does forced solidarity hamper investment in small and micro enterprises?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 827-846.
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/14463 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ingela Alger & Jörgen W. Weibul, 2007. "Kinship, Incentives and Evolution – revised version: Kinship, Incentives, and Evolution," Carleton Economic Papers 07-13, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 17 Sep 2010.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    altruism; coerced altruism; family ties; insurance; moral hazard;

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0681. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Helena Lundin). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/erhhsse.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.