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DT 20/19 - Intergenerational transmission of preferences for redistribution

ISSNISSN/ISBN: 1688-5090
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We explore whether preferences for redistributive policies are transmitted from parents to children, focusing on the formation of preferences among young people residing in Uruguay. Furthermore, we study the empirical relevance of three modulators of intergenerational transmission of preferences that are suggested by theoretical models: family income mobility and parental perceptions, personality traits of parents, and the abilities of their children. We draw on a novel dataset for a middle-income country, the Longitudinal Study of Well-being in Uruguay, which contains information on parents' preferences for redistribution in the years 2011/12 and 2016/17, and for their children in the year 2016/17. The richness of this information, and the exhaustive group of variables available, allows us to make precise estimates of the three modulators of transmission. First, we find that, on average, intergenerational persistence of redistributive preferences is relatively high. Second, there is heterogeneity in the intergenerational transmission process, which is associated with parents' learning. Finally, the transmission of preferences from parents to children is more relevant when mobility is lower, when there is greater self-control on the part of parents, and when children score higher on measures of their abilities.
 
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