An Experimental Study of Intergenerational Altruism with Parent-Child Pairs

Author: Hideo Akabayashi, Akiko Kamesaka, Ryosuke Nakamura, Masao Ogaki, Teruyuki Tamura,
Date: 2014/8
No: DP2014-005
JEL Classification codes: C93, D14, E2
Language: English
[ Abstract / Highlights ]

In the standard intergenerational altruism model in which the child’s utility level is an argument in the parent’s utility function, there are no conflicts of interests between the parent and the child if they need to reach an agreement about the amount and the timing of a present that child receives from a third party. On the other hand, in the intergenerational altruism models of cultural transmission of preferences, this may not be true. This difference in two classes of the models can be used to distinguish between them in experiments. We conducted a time preference experiment to compare individual and joint decision makings with parent-child pairs in which (1) the child alone, (2) the parent alone, and (3) the parent-child pair as a group make decisions about the amount and the timing of the payment to the child. The experimental results are not consistent with the standard intergenerational altruism model but consistent with models of cultural transmiss ion of preferences.