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Risk-sharing, Altruism, and the Factor Structure of Consumption

Discussion Paper 48 | Published July 1, 1991

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Authors

Fumio Hayashi

Joseph Altonji

Laurence Kotlikoff

Risk-sharing, Altruism, and the Factor Structure of Consumption

Abstract

We consider four models of consumption that differ with respect to efficient risk-sharing and altruism. They range from complete markets with altruism to family risk-sharing. We use a matched sample of parents and independent children available from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to discriminate between the four models. Our testing procedure is designed to deal with the set of observed independent children being endogenously selected. The combined hypothesis of complete markets and altruism can be decisively rejected, while we fail to reject altruism and hence family risk-sharing for a subset of families.