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Substitution Effects in Parental Investments

  • Brandt, Loren


    (University of Toronto)

  • Siow, Aloysius


    (University of Toronto)

  • Wang, Jackie


    (University of Toronto)

The paper estimates how parents adjust bride-prices and land divisions to compensate their sons for differences in their schooling investments in rural China. The main estimate implies that when a son receives one yuan less in schooling investment than his brother, he will obtain 0.7 yuan more in observable marital and post-marital transfers as partial compensation. Controlling for unobserved household heterogeneity, planned consumption differences across sons, and a fuller accounting of lifetime transfers are quantitatively important. The empirical findings strongly support the unitary model as a model of resource allocation for sons in traditional agricultural families.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4431.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4431
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  1. Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
  2. Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1992. "Is the Extended Family Altruistically Linked? Direct Tests Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1177-98, December.
  3. Kathleen McGarry & Robert F. Schoeni, 1995. "Transfer Behavior in the Health and Retirement Study: Measurement and the Redistribution of Resources within the Family," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30, pages s184-s226.
  4. Raut, Lakshmi K. & Tran, Lien H., 2005. "Parental human capital investment and old-age transfers from children: Is it a loan contract or reciprocity for Indonesian families?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 389-414, August.
  5. Cox, Donald & Rank, Mark R, 1992. "Inter-vivos Transfers and Intergenerational Exchange," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(2), pages 305-14, May.
  6. Shelly J. Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak & Terence J. Wales, 1997. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from the United Kingdom Child Benefit," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 463-480.
  7. Nancy Qian, 2008. "Missing Women and the Price of Tea in China: The Effect of Sex-Specific Earnings on Sex Imbalance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1251-1285.
  8. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-46, June.
  9. Udry, Christopher, 1996. "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1010-46, October.
  10. Gustavo J. Bobonis, 2009. "Is the Allocation of Resources within the Household Efficient? New Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(3), pages 453-503, 06.
  11. Paul L. Menchik, 1980. "Primogeniture, Equal Sharing, and the U.S. Distribution of Wealth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(2), pages 299-316.
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