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Parental investment and the intergenerational transmission of economic preferences and attitudes

  • Zumbühl M.A.
  • Pfann G.A.
  • Dohmen T.J.
  • Pfann G.A.


We study empirically whether there is scope for parents to shape the economic preferences and attitudes of their children through purposeful investments. We exploit information on the risk and trust attitudes of parents and their children, as well as rich information about parental efforts in the upbringing of their children from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study. Our results show that parents who invest more in the upbringing of their children are more similar to them with respectto risk and trust attitudes and thus transmit their own attitudes more strongly. The results are robust to including variables on the relationship between children and parents, family size, and the parents socioeconomic background.

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Paper provided by Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE) in its series Research Memorandum with number 033.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unm:umagsb:2013033
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  1. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2008. "Occupational Choice and the Spirit of Capitalism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 747-793.
  2. Björklund, Anders & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2010. "Education and Family Background: Mechanisms and Policies," IZA Discussion Papers 5002, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe, 2006. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Risk and Trust Attitudes," IZA Discussion Papers 2380, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Alessandra Fogli & Raquel Fernandez, 2005. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility," Working Papers 05-07, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  5. Butler, Jeff & Giuliano, Paola & Guiso, Luigi, 2009. "The Right Amount of Trust," CEPR Discussion Papers 7461, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Social Networks and Parental Behavior in the Intergenerational Transmission of Religion," IZA Discussion Papers 5787, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  8. Darren Lubotsky & Martin Wittenberg, 2001. "Interpretation of Regressions with Multiple Proxies," Working Papers 836, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  9. David Cesarini & Christopher T. Dawes & Magnus Johannesson & Paul Lichtenstein & Björn Wallace, 2009. "Genetic Variation in Preferences for Giving and Risk Taking," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 809-842.
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  12. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:124:y:2009:i:2:p:809-842 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe & Schupp, Jürgen & Wagner, Gert G., 2009. "Individual risk attitudes: Measurement, determinants and behavioral consequences," Munich Reprints in Economics 20049, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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  16. Björklund Anders & Lindahl Lena & Lindquist Matthew J., 2010. "What More Than Parental Income, Education and Occupation? An Exploration of What Swedish Siblings Get from Their Parents," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-40, November.
  17. Michael Weinhardt & Jürgen Schupp, 2011. "Multi-Itemskalen im SOEP Jugendfragebogen," Data Documentation 60, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  18. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP): Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
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  20. David, Cesarini & Dawes, Christopher T. & Johannesson, Magnus & Lichtenstein, Paul & Wallace, Björn, 2007. "Genetic Variation in Preferences for Giving and Risk-Taking," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 679, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 12 Jan 2009.
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