هنجارهای روابط متقابل و شکل گیری سرمایه انسانی در یک خانواده فقیر مردسالار
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|18512||2006||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Journal of Socio-Economics, Volume 35, Issue 1, February 2006, Pages 72–82
If gifts are reciprocated in the future, intra-household distribution of resources will depend on premarital gifts such as dowry, bride-price and parents’ gifts to a child such as schooling and nurturing. If such social norms of reciprocity exist, parental income effects on their child's human capital will be asymmetric, and the effect will depend on the amount of intra-household transfers made before childbirth.
It is well known that in some poor countries, child welfare often increases if income is transferred from a child's father to the child's mother. Considerable empirical support of this phenomenon has led to the formulation of policies that focus on empowerment of women (Quisumbing and Maluccio, 1999 and Thomas, 1990).1 It is hard to explain the phenomenon of asymmetric income effects in terms of the theoretical literature on the family. A well-known result in public goods (Warr, 1983) demonstrates that expenditure on public goods (such as children in a household) is independent with respect to intra-household income distribution. Bergstrom (1997) notes that if income is redistributed from one spouse to another, a child's human capital would increase in a non-cooperative bargaining framework only if the spouse who loses the income was not contributing anything to the child's welfare before income redistribution took place. Whether intra-household “income pooling” for household public goods occurs or not is an important issue in Western societies as well: if a mother's income effect with respect to expenditure on children is different from a father's income effect, it will have important implications with respect to legal childcare support policies (Lundberg and Pollak, 1994). This note argues that asymmetric parental income effects on a child's welfare is better understood if we consider the problem in broader terms and include the role that social norms play in reciprocal relationships (Sugden, 1986 and Elster, 1989). Consistent with sociological and anthropological evidence (Levi-Strauss, 1965 and Gouldner, 1960), I assume that resource transfers within the household are reciprocated at least in part. This implies that past resource transfers between spouses (such as dowry, bride-price, housework and other services) and transfers from parents to children (such as nurturing, schooling, food and care) will be reciprocated in the future. If a norm of reciprocity is assumed, it can be shown that parental income effects on child welfare may indeed be asymmetric and a transfer of income from the father to the mother would have a non-neutral effect on child welfare. An implication of the model is that the parents’ marriage market conditions affect child welfare. Why do the family members reciprocate past transfers? Although it may seem irrational to reciprocate past transfers (since there is no penalty to renege in a one-shot game), there is a large literature that supports the idea of reciprocity. For example, experimental economics very strongly supports the idea that people are ‘homo reciprocous,’ i.e., we reciprocate even if we do not have to. There is also a large neoclassical literature on reciprocity that views reciprocity as an institutional form that addresses the issues of transaction costs, uncertainty and information problems. In a classic paper, Camerar (1988) has shown why two rational agents may make voluntary reciprocal transfers. Camerar's model may be modified to show why gifts such as dowry may be given under certain circumstances. Intra-household reciprocity may result from a complex set of factors, but in this paper the focus is not on why people reciprocate. The focus is on the consequences of the reciprocal behavior on members of a family. A mother's resource transfer to the father would depend on the father-child reciprocal relationship. A three-way reciprocity between father, mother and child plays a critical role in the formation of a child's human capital. This aspect of a child's human capital accumulation is not addressed in the literature.