• Article

The impact of biological preferences on parental investments in children and step-children

A remarriage typically involves significant changes in a family's financial circumstance, and these changes, combined with the relative bargaining relationship between spouses, likely affect the well-being of the children who are part of the family. In this paper, I use the separate-spheres model, a theoretical model that explains the determinants of bargaining power in marriage, to analyze how a remarried couple's bargaining relationship affects their child investment in stepfamilies. Based on this theoretical model, I build and estimate an empirical model that investigates the determinants of parental investment. As evidence of parental preference for biological children over stepchildren, I find that an increased wage rate of a biological mother significantly improves her child investment when her husband is a stepfather of the child, while there is no such effect for mothers living with the biological father of the child

Citation

Ronquest, N. (2009). The impact of biological preferences on parental investments in children and step-children. Review of Economics of the Household, 7(1), 59-81.