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Parent-bias


Lichand, Guilherme; Thibaud, Juliette (2022). Parent-bias. Working paper series / Department of Economics 369, University of Zurich.

Abstract

How do parents plan to and effectively share resources with their children over time? In a lab-in-the-field experiment in Malawi, we show that, for many parents, plans become more generous the further in the future consumption is. These parents are, however, way more likely to reverse past plans, reallocating away from children’s consumption as it gets closer, even when consumption is still in the future. Reallocating from children’s future consumption towards one’s own - what we call parent-bias - cannot be explained by present-bias. Commitment devices designed for present-bias do not mitigate parent-bias. Our findings provide a new explanation for underinvestment in children and inform the design of new interventions to address it.

Abstract

How do parents plan to and effectively share resources with their children over time? In a lab-in-the-field experiment in Malawi, we show that, for many parents, plans become more generous the further in the future consumption is. These parents are, however, way more likely to reverse past plans, reallocating away from children’s consumption as it gets closer, even when consumption is still in the future. Reallocating from children’s future consumption towards one’s own - what we call parent-bias - cannot be explained by present-bias. Commitment devices designed for present-bias do not mitigate parent-bias. Our findings provide a new explanation for underinvestment in children and inform the design of new interventions to address it.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
JEL Classification:C91, D13, E24
Uncontrolled Keywords:Time preferences, preference reversals, children’s human capital
Language:English
Date:June 2022
Deposited On:25 Nov 2020 16:57
Last Modified:20 Oct 2022 12:44
Series Name:Working paper series / Department of Economics
Number of Pages:116
ISSN:1664-705X
Additional Information:Revised version
OA Status:Green
Official URL:https://www.econ.uzh.ch/en/research/workingpapers.html?paper-id=1051
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Permission: Download for registered users
  • Description: Version November 2020
  • Content: Updated Version
  • Description: Revised version June 2022