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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.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp7376.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7376.

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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
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  1. Guido Tabellini, 2006. "Culture and institutions: economic development in the regions of Europe," Levine's Working Paper Archive 321307000000000466, David K. Levine.
  2. Ermisch, John & Gambetta, Diego, 2010. "Do strong family ties inhibit trust?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 365-376, September.
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  7. Paola Giuliano, 2005. "Living Arrangements in Western Europe: Does Cultural Origin Matter?," 2005 Meeting Papers 189, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  14. Edward Glaeser & Giacomo Ponzetto & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "Why does democracy need education?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 77-99, June.
  15. Francesco Giavazzi & Fabio Schiantarelli & Michel Serafinelli, 2009. "Attitudes, Policies and Work," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 714, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 13 Feb 2012.
  16. 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.
  17. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 2006. "Democratic Capital: The Nexus of Political and Economic Change," CEPR Discussion Papers 5654, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  19. Greif, Avner & Tabellini, Guido, 2012. "The Clan and the City: Sustaining Cooperation in China and Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 9072, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  23. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  24. 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.
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  31. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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