Econometrica: Sep 2017, Volume 85, Issue 5

Parenting with Style: Altruism and Paternalism in Intergenerational Preference Transmission

DOI: 10.3982/ECTA14634
p. 1331-1371

Matthias Doepke, Fabrizio Zilibotti

We develop a theory of parent‐child relations that rationalizes the choice between alternative parenting styles (as set out in Baumrind, 1967). Parents maximize an objective function that combines Beckerian altruism and paternalism towards children. They can affect their children's choices via two channels: either by influencing children's preferences or by imposing direct restrictions on their choice sets. Different parenting styles (authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive) emerge as equilibrium outcomes and are affected both by parental preferences and by the socioeconomic environment. Parenting style, in turn, feeds back into the children's welfare and economic success. The theory is consistent with the decline of authoritarian parenting observed in industrialized countries and with the greater prevalence of more permissive parenting in countries characterized by low inequality.

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Supplement to "Parenting with Style: Altruism and Paternalism in Intergenerational Preference Transmission"

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Supplement to "Parenting with Style: Altruism and Paternalism in Intergenerational Preference Transmission"

This zip file contains replication files for the manuscript.

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Supplement to "Parenting with Style: Altruism and Paternalism in Intergenerational Preference Transmission"

This zip file contains replication files for the manuscript.

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Supplement to "Parenting with Style: Altruism and Paternalism in Intergenerational Preference Transmission"

In this appendix, we formalize properties of the general model discussed in Section 4 in the article, and provide a characterization of the first-order conditions for the differentiable case.

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