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Inequality Within and Between Families

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  • Eytan Sheshinski
  • Yoram Weiss

Abstract

Between-family differences in expenditures and output reflect the effect of simultaneous increases in children's ability on the willingness of parents to transfer resources to them. Within-family differences also reflect the attitudes of parents toward disparity among children. In this paper we characterize the conditions on parents' preferences that determine whether between-family differences exceed within-family differences. For an additive utility, within-family differences in expenditures always exceed between-family differences. This may also be true for the maximum utility function if an increase in ability reduces the marginal utility of income. Within-family differences in output (utility or income) can also exceed between-family differences. In this case, the implication for income distribution is that equality is enhanced by a higher correlation of ability between brothers.

Suggested Citation

  • Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1979. "Inequality Within and Between Families," NBER Working Papers 0405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0405
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1976. "Child Endowments and the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 143-162, August.
    2. Jerry R. Green & Eytan Sheshinski, 1975. "A Note on the Progressivity of Optimal Public Expenditures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 89(1), pages 138-144.
    3. Griliches, Zvi, 1979. "Sibling Models and Data in Economics: Beginnings of a Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 37-64, October.
    4. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1971. "A Utilitarian Approach to the Concept of Equality in Public Expenditures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(3), pages 409-415.
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    Cited by:

    1. Momi Dahan & Alejandro Gaviria, 1998. "Actos de los padres y desigualdad entre hermanos," Research Department Publications 4151, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    2. Ye, Maoliang & Yi, Junjian, 2017. "Parental preferences, production technologies, and provision for progeny," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 261-270.
    3. Cowell, Frank A., 2014. "Piketty in the long run," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 65992, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Morris A. Davis & E. Michael Foster, 1999. "Intra-household allocation and the mental health of children: structural estimation analysis," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Luc Arrondel & Anne Laferrère, 1992. "Les partages inégaux de successions entre frères et soeurs," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 256(1), pages 29-42.
    6. Amartya Sen, 1987. "Gender and Cooperative Conflicts," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-1987-018, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    7. Dahan, Momi & Gaviria, Alejandro, 2003. "Parental actions and sibling inequality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 281-297, October.
    8. Quy-Toan Do & Tung D. Phung, 2010. "The Importance of Being Wanted," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 236-253, October.
    9. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1988. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 1-25.
    10. Nerlove, Marc & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1983. "Economic Issues in Population Policy," Foerder Institute for Economic Research Working Papers 275372, Tel-Aviv University > Foerder Institute for Economic Research.
    11. Mark R. Rosenzweig & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1988. "Heterogeneity, Intrafamily Distribution, and Child Health," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 437-461.
    12. Deininger, Klaus W. & Jin, Songqing & Nagarajan, Hari & Xia, Fang, 2013. "How Far Does the Amendment to the Hindu Succession Act Reach? Evidence from Two-Generation Females in Urban India," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 151432, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    13. André Masson & Pierre Pestieau, 1991. "Types et modèles d'héritage et leurs implications," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 100(4), pages 31-71.
    14. Nathalie Picard & François-Charles Wolff, 2010. "Measuring educational inequalities: a method and an application to Albania," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(3), pages 989-1023, June.

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