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Substitution Effects in Parental Investments

Author

Listed:
  • Brandt, Loren

    () (University of Toronto)

  • Siow, Aloysius

    () (University of Toronto)

  • Wang, Jackie

    () (University of Toronto)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Brandt, Loren & Siow, Aloysius & Wang, Jackie, 2009. "Substitution Effects in Parental Investments," IZA Discussion Papers 4431, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4431
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Udry, Christopher, 1996. "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1010-1046, October.
    3. Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
    4. Cox, Donald & Rank, Mark R, 1992. "Inter-vivos Transfers and Intergenerational Exchange," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(2), pages 305-314, May.
    5. 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.
    6. 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 1177-1198, December.
    7. 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.
    8. 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, June.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-546, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    marriage market; parental investment; household model; transfers;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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