From Parent to Child: Intrahousehold Allocations and Intergenerational Relations in the United States

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University of Chicago Press, Aug 15, 1995 - Family & Relationships - 322 pages
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How do parents allocate human capital among their children? To what extent do parental decisions about resource allocation determine children's eventual economic success?

The analyses in From Parent to Child explore these questions by developing and testing a model in which the earnings of children with different genetic endowments respond differently to investments in human capital. Behrman, Pollak, and Taubman use this model to investigate issues such as parental bias in resource allocations based on gender or birth order; the extent of intergenerational mobility in income, earnings, and schooling in the United States; the relative importance of environmental and genetic factors in determining variations in schooling; and whether parents' distributions offset the intended effects of government programs designed to subsidize children. In allocating scarce resources, parents face a trade-off between equity and efficiency, between the competing desires to equalize the wealth of their children and to maximize the sum of their earnings.

Building on the seminal work of Gary Becker, From Parent to Child integrates careful modeling of household behavior with systematic empirical testing, and will appeal to anyone interested in the economics of the family.

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About the author (1995)

Jere R. Behrman is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Alejandro Gaviria is assistant director of FEDESARROLLO in Bogota, Colombia. Miguel Szkely is assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the Social Development Secretariat in the Office of the President of Mexico.

Pollak is Hernreich Distinguished Professor of Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences and the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis.

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