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Happiness and altruism within the extended family


Schwarze, Johannes; Winkelmann, Rainer (2011). Happiness and altruism within the extended family. Journal of Population Economics, 24(3):1033-1051.

Abstract

We propose a direct measure of altruism between parents and adult children, using survey data on happiness from the German Socio-Economic Panel for the years 2000–2004. The question of altruism within families has policy relevance, for example, to understand whether public transfers crowd out private ones. Previous empirical evidence, based on observed transfer behavior, has failed to establish a clear consensus. Using various cross section, panel data, and instrumental variable estimators, we find a robust association between the happiness of parents and that of their adult children. A 1 standard deviation increase in a child’s happiness is associated with the same increase in own happiness as that of a 20–45% increase in household income, depending on specification.

Abstract

We propose a direct measure of altruism between parents and adult children, using survey data on happiness from the German Socio-Economic Panel for the years 2000–2004. The question of altruism within families has policy relevance, for example, to understand whether public transfers crowd out private ones. Previous empirical evidence, based on observed transfer behavior, has failed to establish a clear consensus. Using various cross section, panel data, and instrumental variable estimators, we find a robust association between the happiness of parents and that of their adult children. A 1 standard deviation increase in a child’s happiness is associated with the same increase in own happiness as that of a 20–45% increase in household income, depending on specification.

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14 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:July 2011
Deposited On:02 Nov 2011 10:09
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:04
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0933-1433
Additional Information:The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00148-010-0326-8

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