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Altruism Vs. Exchange In Intergenerational Transfers: New Evidence From Children'S Health Care

Author

Listed:
  • Andrés Romeu

    () (Universidad de Alicante)

  • Ignacio Ortuño Ortín

    (Universidad de Alicante)

Abstract

We put in perspective two competing hypothesis on the nature of intergenerational transfers: altruism vs. exchange motivation. Unlike previous approaches, we concentrate on non-monetary transfers measured as the effort that parents need to make in order to prevent children?s fatal health episodes. It is shown that, under the pure altruism hypothesis richer parents should be more prompt than poorer ones to exert this effort in the face of a bad-health signal. Inversely, richer parents would need to observe a higher signal than poorer when parents consider raising healthy children as an investment for the future times. Using data on frequency of utilization of the emergency room services and doctor?s office visits by low-age children, infant mortality and home-accident preventive care, we reject the null of altruism. Instead, we conclude that exchange motives do not enter into contradiction with the evidence.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrés Romeu & Ignacio Ortuño Ortín, 2003. "Altruism Vs. Exchange In Intergenerational Transfers: New Evidence From Children'S Health Care," Working Papers. Serie AD 2003-26, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  • Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2003-26
    as

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    File URL: http://www.ivie.es/downloads/docs/wpasad/wpasad-2003-26.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational transfers; altruism and exchange motivations; child;

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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