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Is There Such a Thing as a Family Constitution? A Test Based on Credit Rationing

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  • Cigno, Alessandro

    () (University of Florence)

  • Giannelli, Gianna Claudia

    () (University of Florence)

  • Rosati, Furio C.

    () (University of Rome Tor Vergata)

  • Vuri, Daniela

    () (University of Rome Tor Vergata)

Abstract

The paper aims to ascertain whether voluntary money transfers may be explained by the existence of self-enforcing family constitutions. We identify a circumstance in which an agent will behave differently if she is optimizing subject to a family constitution, than if she is moved by either altruistic or exchange motivations. The circumstance is the presence of a binding credit ration, which may raise the probability of making a money transfer (and the amount of money transferred) if a family constitution exists, but will have the opposite effect if the transfer is either a gift, or payments for services rendered. Allowing for possible endogeneity, we find that rationing has a positive effect on the probability of giving money, and on the amount given, if the potential giver is under the age of retirement and has children, but no significant effect if the person has no children, or is over the retirement age. This rejects the hypothesis that money transfers are motivated by either altruistic or straight exchange motives, but not the one that these transfers are governed by family constitutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Cigno, Alessandro & Giannelli, Gianna Claudia & Rosati, Furio C. & Vuri, Daniela, 2004. "Is There Such a Thing as a Family Constitution? A Test Based on Credit Rationing," IZA Discussion Papers 1116, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1116
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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. Alessandro Cigno, 2006. "A constitutional theory of the family," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 19(2), pages 259-283, June.
    3. Frank A. Sloan & Jingshu Wang & Harold H. Zhang, 2002. "Upstream Intergenerational Transfers," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 363-380, October.
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    5. Cigno, Alessandro, 1993. "Intergenerational transfers without altruism : Family, market and state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 505-518, November.
    6. Andrew D. Foster & Mark Rosenzweig, 1996. "Financial Intermediation, Transfers and Commitment: Do Banks Crowd Out Private Insurance Arrangements in Low-Income Rural Areas?," Home Pages _053, University of Pennsylvania.
    7. Alessandro Cigno & Luca Casolaro & Furio C. Rosati, 2002. "The Impact of Social Security on Saving and Fertility in Germany," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 59(2), pages 189-189, May.
    8. Cigno, Alessandro & Rosati, Furio C., 1996. "Jointly determined saving and fertility behaviour: Theory, and estimates for Germany, Italy, UK and USA," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1561-1589, November.
    9. Cox, Donald & Jakubson, George, 1995. "The connection between public transfers and private interfamily transfers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 129-167, May.
    10. Guttman, Joel M., 2001. "Self-enforcing reciprocity norms and intergenerational transfers: theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 117-151, July.
    11. Rosati, Furio Camillo, 1996. "Social security in a non-altruistic model with uncertainty and endogenous fertility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 283-294, May.
    12. Cigno, Alessandro & Rosati, Furio Camillo, 1992. "The Effects of Financial Markets and Social Security on Saving and Fertility Behaviour in Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 5(4), pages 319-341.
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    15. Cigno, Alessandro & Camillio Rosati, Furio, 1997. "Rise and fall of the Japanese saving rate: The role of social security and intra-family transfers," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 81-92, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luc Arrondel & Cyril Grange, 2014. "Bequests and family traditions: the case of nineteenth century France," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 439-459, September.
    2. Ana Fernandes, 2011. "Altruism, labor supply and redistributive neutrality," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(4), pages 1443-1469, October.
    3. Alessandro Cigno, 2010. "How to Avoid a Pension Crisis: A Question of Intelligent System Design ," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 56(1), pages 21-37, March.
    4. Liliana Pezzin & Robert Pollak & Barbara Schone, 2009. "Long-term care of the disabled elderly: do children increase caregiving by spouses?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 323-339, September.
    5. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_609 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Jordan D. Matsudaira, 2016. "Economic conditions and the living arrangements of young adults: 1960 to 2011," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 167-195, January.
    7. Alessandro Balestrino & Lisa Grazzini & Annalisa Luporini, 2017. "A normative justification of compulsory education," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(2), pages 537-567, April.
    8. Alessandro Cigno & Mizuki Komura & Annalisa Luporini, 2017. "Self-enforcing family rules, marriage and the (non)neutrality of public intervention," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(3), pages 805-834, July.
    9. Meng-Na Xu & Ming-Lin Wang, 2015. "Individual perception of accessible social capital and attitude to thrift," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 487-500, September.
    10. Alessandro Cigno, 2006. "A constitutional theory of the family," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 19(2), pages 259-283, June.
    11. Robert Fenge & Beatrice Scheubel, 2017. "Pensions and fertility: back to the roots," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(1), pages 93-139, January.
    12. Justina Klimaviciute & Sergio Perelman & Pierre Pestieau & Jerome Schoenmaeckers, 2017. "Caring for dependent parents: Altruism, exchange or family norm?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(3), pages 835-873, July.
    13. José Casado, 2011. "From income to consumption: measuring households partial insurance," Empirical Economics, Springer, pages 471-495.
    14. Cigno, A., 2016. "Conflict and Cooperation Within the Family, and Between the State and the Family, in the Provision of Old-Age Security," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.
    15. Alessandro Cigno, 2007. "Low fertility in Europe: Is the pension system the victim or the culprit? Introduction by Alessandro Cigno," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 8(3), pages 37-42, October.
    16. Miguel Sánchez-Romero & Concepció Patxot & Elisenda Rentería & Guadalupe Souto, 2013. "On the effects of public and private transfers on capital accumulation: some lessons from the NTA aggregates," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 1409-1430, October.
    17. Samuel Bentolila & Andrea Ichino, 2008. "Unemployment and consumption near and far away from the Mediterranean," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(2), pages 255-280, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    private transfers; exchange; altruism; family constitution; personal services;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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