Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 138–150 | Cite as

Pension Participation: Do Parents Transmit Time Preference?

  • Elena GouskovaEmail author
  • Ngina Chiteji
  • Frank Stafford
Original Paper


A wide range of economic and health behaviors are influenced by individuals’ attitudes toward the future—including investments in human capital, health capital and financial capital. Intergenerational correlations in such behaviors suggest an important role the family may play in transmitting time preferences to children. This article presents a model of parental investment in future-oriented capital, where parents shape their children’s time preference rates. The research identifies a dual role for a parent’s time preference rate in the process of shaping the offspring’s attitude toward the future, and discusses paths through which parents may socialize children to be patient. The model’s implications are studied by investigating the parent–child correlation in pension participation using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics


Family and economic issues Human capital theory Intergenerational correlations Pensions Saving 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Gouskova
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ngina Chiteji
    • 2
  • Frank Stafford
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute for Social ResearchUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsSkidmore CollegeSaratoga SpringsUSA
  3. 3.Institute for Social Research, University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Department of EconomicsUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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