EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

The Evolution of Altruistic Preferences: Mothers versus Fathers

Ingela Alger () and Donald Cox ()

No 12.30.387, LERNA Working Papers from LERNA, University of Toulouse

Abstract: What can evolutionary biology tell us about male-female differences in preferences concerning family matters? Might mothers be more solicitous toward offspring than fathers, for example? The economics literature has documented gender differences—children benefit more from money put in the hands of mothers rather than fathers, for example—and these differences are thought to be partly due to preferences. Yet for good reason family economics is mostly concerned with how prices and incomes affect behavior against a backdrop of exogenous preferences. Evolutionary biology complements this approach by treating preferences as the outcome of natural selection. We mine the well-developed biological literature to make a prima facie case for evolutionary roots of parental preferences. We consider the most rudimentary of traits—sex differences in gamete size and internal fertilization—and explain how they have been thought to generate malefemale differences in altruism toward children and other preferences related to family behavior. The evolutionary approach to the family illuminates connections between issues typically thought distinct in family economics, such as parental care and marriage markets.

Date: 2012-12-31, Revised 2013-05
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (25) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://idei.fr/doc/by/alger/reho.pdf Full text (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: The evolution of altruistic preferences: mothers versus fathers (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: The Evolution of Altruistic Preferences: Mothers versus Fathers (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: The Evolution of Altruistic Preferences: Mothers versus Fathers (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: The Evolution of Altruistic Preferences: Mothers versus Fathers (2013) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ler:wpaper:26681

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in LERNA Working Papers from LERNA, University of Toulouse Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Maxime MARTY ( this e-mail address is bad, please contact ).

 
Page updated 2023-02-03
Handle: RePEc:ler:wpaper:26681