"My Father was right": The transmission of values between generations
Research using French data has often found that parents' saving behaviour influences that of their children. This article attempts to explain this phenomenon using data from a unique French survey set up by Delta and TNS-Sofres in 2002. This survey contains information on both preference and saving information for two generations of respondents.Savings preferences of parents and children, concerning risk attitudes and time discounting, are significantly correlated. The correlation coefficient is 0.25, so that the concordance, while significant, is not complete. The analogous correlation between wealth levels is 0.22. This coefficient is corrected for the differences in age of the two generations, and concerns coexisting generations, i.e. before the most significant intergenerational transfers have taken place. Over 40% of this elasticity results (directly or indirectly) from the levels of permanent income of the two generations. Education and preferences further explain around 20% each, and intergenerational transfers that have already taken place around 13%. The contribution of savers' preferences is also around 13%, we control for the effect of permanent income. Even though it is only one of a number of channels of influence, the transmission of preferences therefore plays a non- negligible role in the transmission of wealth inequalities.
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