October 15, 2013
Recent contributions in economics have argued for a re-introduction of
preference-based approaches to economic behavior and have called for an
empirical investigation of preferences in order to overcome the
prevalent skepticism against such explanations within the discipline.
The present paper contributes to this discussion by assessing the
extent, specificity, and malleability of preference transmission from
parents to their children, and thus provides evidence for the clustering
of preferences along family lines. Using data on eight activity choices
from the British Household Panel Survey, we find strong (and positive)
correlations between preferences of parents and their adult children.
These correlations are found to be robust to a wide number of robustness
checks but to vary considerably across activities, suggesting that
parents may have more influence over some preferences than over others.
Further investigations also show that this influence is surprisingly
robust to a wide number of potentially intervening factors.
Journal of Bioeconomics
Volume and page numbers
Volume: 15 , p.217 -249
Not held in Res Lib - bibliographic reference only