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Family, Culture, Demographic Trends, and Economic Decisions 

PRIN Grant
Head of Bocconi Research Unit
Francesco Giavazzi

Team Members
Vincenzo Galasso            (Università Bocconi)
Michael McMahon             (Warwick University)
Fabio Schiantarelli           (Boston College)
Michel Serafinelli              (UC Berkeley )

This research unit is part of the project The Economic Impact of Population Ageing in Europe, which consists of 8 Research Units coordinated by Agar Brugiavini (Università Ca' Foscari, Venezia).

Abstract
It has become the conventional wisdom for academic policy-makers and even for the public at large that the current demographic dynamics require fundamental economic and social adjustments. These changes will affect the individual economic behavior by forcing workers to modify the education labor supply and retirement decision; but also the large welfare systems which will have to be fundamentally re-designed.

Yet, despite facing a largely common demographic and economic challenge, countries seem to have different individual and collective responses. While some of this variation can be explained by the different economic incentives that individuals face, cultural traits and political institutions seem to play a crucial role in understanding these different individual and systemic responses.

Our research unit will address these issues by analyzing how the existence of specific cultural traits within different family types will affect the individual and collective responses to the challenges posed by the current demographic trends.

In particular, we will examine:
(i) a methodological issue related to the effect of culture---in particular the cultural attitudes towards gender, the young, and leisure on individual economic behavior;
(ii) the effect of "parenting daughters" on the development of a gender culture within the family and its impact on the labor market;
(iii) the role of information in modifying cultural beliefs in gender issues;
(iv) the role of the family as a determinant of the initial design of public pension systems and of their subsequent reforms;
(v) the channels through which government spending affects household confidence and private demand.



Last updated July 10, 2013