Parental Involvement and the Intergenerational Transmission of Economic Preferences, Attitudes and Personality Traits

Maria Zumbuehl, Thomas Dohmen*, Gerard Pfann

*Corresponding author for this work

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We empirically investigate the link between parental involvement and shaping of the economic preferences, attitudes and personality traits of their children. We exploit information on the risk and trust attitudes, the Big Five personality traits and locus of control of parents and their children, as well as rich information about parental efforts in the upbringing of their children from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP). Our results show that parents who are more involved in the upbringing of their children have children with more favourable attitudes and traits. These children rank higher in traits that further their success in life, and they are more similar to their parents in those attitudes, where the optimum level is more ambiguous.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2642-2670
Number of pages29
JournalThe Economic Journal
Issue number638
Early online dateDec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

JEL classifications

  • j24 - "Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity"
  • d90 - Intertemporal Choice and Growth: General
  • z10 - Cultural Economics
  • j62 - "Job, Occupational, and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion"


  • RISK

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