IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Gambling on Genes: Ambiguity Aversion Explains Investment in Sisters’ Children

  • Brishti Guha

    ()

    (Singapore Management University, School of Economics)

Many men invest in their sisters’ children instead of their wives’. Existing theories addressing such behavior depend on the level of paternity probability in such men’s societies being implausibly low. I link this anthropologically observed investment behavior with the experimentally observed phenomenon that some individuals are ambiguity averse. Arguing that men’s decisions are made under ambiguity, I show that an increase in ambiguity aversion results in investment in sisters’, rather than wives’, children. I show that this can happen even under risk neutrality. I also consider the special cases of a SEU maximizer and of extreme ambiguity aversion in the Gilboa-Schmeidler sense. Extremely ambiguity averse individuals invest in sister’s children regardless of risk preference or actual paternity rates. An increase in ambiguity, rather than an increase in ambiguity aversion, in contrast, may affect the investment decision either way. When sufficiently many men are ambiguity averse, inheritance norms could become avuncular, affecting women’s incentives and generating a bias towards actual nonpaternity. This is consistent with, but represents an unusual explanation of, data which show correlations between inheritance norms and actual paternity rates.

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: https://mercury.smu.edu.sg/rsrchpubupload/20909/33_2012_GamblingonGenes.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Singapore Management University, School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 33-2012.

as
in new window

Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in SMU Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series
Handle: RePEc:siu:wpaper:33-2012
Contact details of provider: Postal: 90 Stamford Road, Singapore 178903
Phone: 65-6828 0832
Fax: 65-6828 0833
Web page: http://www.economics.smu.edu.sg/

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Email:


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. Marco Francesconi & Christian Ghiglino & Motty Perry, 2010. "On the Origin of the Family," Economics Discussion Papers 682, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  2. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2008. "Genes, Legitimacy and Hypergamy: Another Look at the Economics of Marriage," IDEI Working Papers 509, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  3. John Dickhaut & Radhika Lunawat & Kira Pronin & Jack Stecher, 2011. "Decision making and trade without probabilities," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 275-288, October.
  4. Lena Edlund & Evelyn Korn, 2002. "A Theory of Prostitution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 181-214, February.
  5. Simone Cerreia-Vioglio & Paolo Ghirardato & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Marciano Siniscalchi, 2011. "Rational preferences under ambiguity," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 341-375, October.
  6. Adam Dominiak & Wendelin Schnedler, 2011. "Attitudes toward uncertainty and randomization: an experimental study," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 289-312, October.
  7. Han Ozsoylev & Jan Werner, 2011. "Liquidity and asset prices in rational expectations equilibrium with ambiguous information," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 469-491, October.
  8. Korn, Evelyn, 2000. " On the Formation of Family Structures," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(3-4), pages 357-72, December.
  9. Jürgen Eichberger & David Kelsey, 2008. "Are the Treasures of Game Theory Ambiguous?," Working Papers 0469, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2008.
  10. Dirk Bethmann & Michael Kvasnicka, 2011. "The institution of marriage," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 1005-1032, July.
  11. Johanna Etner & Meglena Jeleva & Jean‐Marc Tallon, 2012. "Decision Theory Under Ambiguity," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 234-270, 04.
  12. Bishai, David & Grossbard, Shoshana, 2007. "Far Above Rubies: The Association Between Bride Price and Extramarital Sexual Relations in Uganda," IZA Discussion Papers 2982, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Scott Condie & Jayant Ganguli, 2011. "Informational efficiency with ambiguous information," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 229-242, October.
  14. Lena Edlund, 2006. "Marriage: Past, Present, Future?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 52(4), pages 621-639, December.
  15. Diamond, Arthur M, Jr & Locay, Luis, 1989. "Investment in Sister's Children as Behavior towards Risk," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(4), pages 719-35, October.
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:siu:wpaper:33-2012. 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: (QL THor)

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.