IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Family Ties

  • Alesina, Alberto


    (Harvard University)

  • Giuliano, Paola


    (University of California, Los Angeles)

We study the role of the most primitive institution in society: the family. Its organization and relationship between generations shape values formation, economic outcomes and influences national institutions. We use a measure of family ties, constructed from the World Values Survey, to review and extend the literature on the effect of family ties on economic behavior and economic attitudes. We show that strong family ties are negatively correlated with generalized trust; they imply more household production and less participation in the labor market of women, young adult and elderly. They are correlated with lower interest and participation in political activities and prefer labor market regulation and welfare systems based upon the family rather than the market or the government. Strong family ties may interfere with activities leading to faster growth, but they may provide relief from stress, support to family members and increased wellbeing. We argue that the value regarding the strength of family relationships are very persistent over time, more so than institutions like labor market regulation or welfare systems.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7376.

in new window

Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in Philippe Aghion and Steven Durlauf (eds.), Handbook of Economic Growth, Vol. 2A, The Netherlands: North Holland, pp. 177-215, 2014
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7376
Contact details of provider: Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page:

Order Information: Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2006. "Democratic capital: The nexus of political and economic change," Working Papers 308, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2007. "The Power of the Family," NBER Working Papers 13051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Spolaore, Enrico & Wacziarg, Romain, 2006. "The Diffusion of Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 5630, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Ermisch, John & Gambetta, Diego, 2008. "Do strong family ties inhibit trust?," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-37, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  5. Edward Glaeser & Giacomo Ponzetto & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "Why does democracy need education?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 77-99, June.
  6. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2005. "The Roots of Low European Employment: Family Culture?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2005, pages 65-109 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Guido Tabellini, 2006. "Culture and institutions: economic development in the regions of Europe," Levine's Working Paper Archive 321307000000000241, David K. Levine.
  8. Avner Greif & Guido Tabellini, 2012. "The Clan and the City: Sustaining Cooperation in China and Europe," Working Papers 445, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  9. Alesina, Alberto & Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre & Giuliano, Paola, 2010. "Family Values and the Regulation of Labor," IZA Discussion Papers 4747, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Alesina, Alberto F & Giuliano, Paola & Nunn, Nathan, 2011. "On the origins of gender roles: women and the plough," CEPR Discussion Papers 8418, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Avner Greif, 2006. "Family Structure, Institutions, and Growth: The Origins and Implications of Western Corporations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 308-312, May.
  12. Durante, Ruben, 2009. "Risk, Cooperation and the Economic Origins of Social Trust: an Empirical Investigation," MPRA Paper 25887, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Marianne Bertrand & Antoinette Schoar, 2006. "The Role of Family in Family Firms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 73-96, Spring.
  14. Guido Tabellini, 2008. "The Scope of Cooperation: Values and Incentives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 905-950, August.
  15. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2011. "Family Ties And Political Participation," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(5), pages 817-839, October.
  16. Gilles Duranton & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Richard Sandall, 2007. "Family Types and the Persistence of Regional Disparities in Europe," Bruges European Economic Research Papers 10, European Economic Studies Department, College of Europe.
  17. Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales & Luigi Guiso, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," NBER Working Papers 11999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Giuliano, Paola, 2006. "Living Arrangements in Western Europe: Does Cultural Origin Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 2042, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, 09.
  20. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  21. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2008. "Long Term Persistence," NBER Working Papers 14278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Raquel Fernandez & Alessandra Fogli, 2005. "Culture: an empirical investigation of beliefs, work, and fertility," Staff Report 361, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  23. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  24. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Roland, Gerald, 2010. "Culture, Institutions and the Wealth of Nations," IZA Discussion Papers 5187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. Vincenzo Galasso & Paola Profeta, 2010. "When the State Mirrors the Family: The Design of Pension Systems," CESifo Working Paper Series 3191, CESifo Group Munich.
  26. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2010. "Inherited Trust and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2060-92, December.
  27. Nicole M Fortin, 2005. "Gender Role Attitudes and the Labour-market Outcomes of Women across OECD Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 416-438, Autumn.
  28. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-50, October.
  29. Francesco Giavazzi & Fabio Schiantarelli & Michel Serafinelli, 2013. "Attitudes, Policies, And Work," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(6), pages 1256-1289, December.
  30. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  31. Samuel Bentolila & Andrea Ichino, 2008. "Unemployment and consumption near and far away from the Mediterranean," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 255-280, April.
  32. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7376. 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: (Mark Fallak)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.