The Economic Motives for Child Allowances: Altruism, Exchange or Value of Independence?
This paper looks inside the â€œblack boxâ€ of the family and examines the determinants of inter vivos transfers in the form of allowances given to children. We consider in a simple model two main competing explanations for the transfer of money from parents to children in the form of regular allowances, namely altruism and exchange. We also extend the altruism framework to include unobserved child heterogeneity in monetary autonomy or the 'value of independence'. We use a unique dataset drawn from the British Family Expenditure Survey, which enables us to explicitly test both the inter-generational predictions of the various models, and through a study of siblings, we are also able to consider the intra-household aspects of such payments. Using both random (inter-household) and fixed-effect (intra-household) estimators, we find robust evidence of an n- shape relationship between a child's external income and the receipt of allowances from parents. Importantly, this estimated profile does not fit the predications of simple models of altruism or exchange, but does fit an altruism model with unobserved heterogeneity. Further support for the importance of the value of independence is that girls and those with higher birth orders obtain much higher allowances, whereby we argue both girls and those born later mature earlier and are therefore likely to be causally related to a high value of independence. We believe that further investigation of the motives underlying intra-household transfers is important for the design of policies aimed at redistributing income, such as child welfare payments.
|Date of creation:||2002|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: St. Lucia, Qld. 4072|
Phone: +61 7 3365 6570
Fax: +61 7 3365 7299
Web page: http://www.uq.edu.au/economics/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Joseph G. Altonji & Fumio Hayashi & Laurence Kotlikoff, "undated".
"Parental Altruism and Inter Vivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence,"
IPR working papers
95-22, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
- Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1997. "Parental Altruism and Inter Vivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1121-1166, December.
- Joseph G. Altonji & Fumio Hayashi & Laurence Kotlikoff, 1995. "Parental Altruism and Inter Vivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Joseph G. Altonji & Fumio Hayashi & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1995. "Parental Altruism and Inter Vivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 65, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
- Barnet-Verzat, Christine & Wolff, Francois-Charles, 2002. "Motives for pocket money allowance and family incentives," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 339-366, June.
- Bo Honore & Ekaterini Kyriazidou & J. L. Powell, 2000. "Estimation of tobit-type models with individual specific effects," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 341-366.
- Riber, D.C. & Wilhelm, M.O., 1996.
"Altruistic and Joy-of-Giving Motivations in Charitable Behavior,"
1-96-4, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
- David C. Ribar & Mark O. Wilhelm, 2002. "Altruistic and Joy-of-Giving Motivations in Charitable Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 425-457, April.
- Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986.
"The Strategic Bequest Motive,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 151-182, July.
- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
"A Theory of Social Interactions,"
NBER Working Papers
0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Honore, Bo E., 1993. "Orthogonality conditions for Tobit models with fixed effects and lagged dependent variables," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1-2), pages 35-61, September.
- Becker, Gary S, 1981. "Altruism in the Family and Selfishness in the Market Place," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 48(189), pages 1-15, February.
- Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-546, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:qld:uq2004:446. 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: (SOE IT)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.