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Grandparents Matter: Perspectives on Intergenerational Altruism

On 30th May 2016 (1-2pm) Luigi Mittone, Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics and Management at the University of Trento will give a presentation about “Grandparents Matter: Perspectives on Intergenerational Altruism. An Experiment on Family Dynamic Spillovers in Public Goods Games" in Q4.245. Afterwards, Mr. Mittone will be available for questions and discussions. His presentation is part of

The development and use of long-lived public goods involves more than one demographic generation, leaving the classic literature on voluntary provisions partially unfit to explain complex phenomena such as welfare systems, climate policies and major infrastructure projects. This paper proposes a model that explains how equilibrium is reached in a context where a public good is produced by one generation of individuals and the following generation reaps the benefits of it. Within this model the case of  intergenerational public goods production is explained using a spillover rule, where a percentage of the public good produced in time t by experimental parents will integrate the endowment of their artifactual children in t+1. A cascade mechanism allows also for the rebirth of three generations of players, mimicking the biological and anthropological mechanisms of gene transmission and intergenerational altruism. Experimental evidence shows that subjects who are reminded of their lineage membership tend to contribute more compared to those who are not included in a dynastic model. More importantly, results show that the real dynastic background of individuals is a prominent influence in the levels of investment in public goods.

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