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Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 59–81 | Cite as

The impact of biological preferences on parental investments in children and step-children

  • Naoko Akashi-RonquestEmail author
Article

Abstract

A remarriage typically involves significant changes in a family’s financial circumstance, and these changes, combined with the relative bargaining relationship between spouses, likely affect the well-being of the children who are part of the family. In this paper, I use the separate-spheres model, a theoretical model that explains the determinants of bargaining power in marriage, to analyze how a remarried couple’s bargaining relationship affects their child investment in stepfamilies. Based on this theoretical model, I build and estimate an empirical model that investigates the determinants of parental investment. As evidence of parental preference for biological children over stepchildren, I find that an increased wage rate of a biological mother significantly improves her child investment when her husband is a stepfather of the child, while there is no such effect for mothers living with the biological father of the child.

Keywords

Family structure Bargaining Divorce Remarriage 

JEL Classifications

J12 J13 K10 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RTI Health SolutionsResearch Triangle ParkUSA
  2. 2.California State University, FullertonFullertonUSA

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