Journal of Economic Growth

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 93–125

The power of the family

Open AccessArticle

DOI: 10.1007/s10887-010-9052-z

Cite this article as:
Alesina, A. & Giuliano, P. J Econ Growth (2010) 15: 93. doi:10.1007/s10887-010-9052-z


We study the importance of family ties on economic behavior. We define our measure of family ties using individual responses from the World Value Survey (WVS) regarding the role of the family and the love and respect that children are expected to have for their parents in 81 countries. We show that with strong family ties home production is higher and families larger, labor force participation of women and youngsters, and geographical mobility lower. To assess causality, we look at the behavior of second generation immigrants. Our results overall indicate a significant influence of the strength of family ties on economic outcomes.


Family tiesCultureImmigrants

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© The Author(s) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.IGIER, Bocconi UniversityMilanItaly
  3. 3.UCLA Anderson School of ManagementLos AngelesUSA