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American Economic Journal: Microeconomics: Vol. 1 No. 1 (February 2009)

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Like Father, Like Son: Social Network Externalities and Parent-Child Correlation in Behavior

Article Citation

Calvó-Armengol, Antoni, and Matthew O. Jackson. 2009. "Like Father, Like Son: Social Network Externalities and Parent-Child Correlation in Behavior." American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 1(1): 124-50.

DOI: 10.1257/mic.1.1.124

Abstract

We build an overlapping generations model where an individual sees higher returns to adopting a behavior as many neighbors adopt the behavior. We show that overlap in the state of a parent and child's neighborhood can lead to correlation in parent-child behavior independent of any parent-child interaction. Increasing the sensitivity of individual decisions to the state of their social community leads to increased parent-child correlation and less efficient (more costly) behavior on average in the society. We show this model is distinguished from a direct parental influence model, in that it predicts increased generational effects, implying residual correlation between children and grandparents after including parental information. (JEL J12, J13, Z13)

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Authors

Calvó-Armengol, Antoni (?)
Jackson, Matthew O. (Stanford U)

JEL Classifications

J12: Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure; Domestic Abuse
J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
Z13: Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology

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