Extended Families across International Borders: Evidence from Mexico

Gabriela Farfan, Duke University

It is widely recognized in the literature that extended families play a crucial role in shaping individual and household decisions. However, less is known about how extended families share resources, and whether their allocation of resources is Pareto efficient. To look at these questions we use the three waves of the Mexican Family Life Survey (MxFLS). These data allows us to link related households and it provides us with geographic variation across families, ranging from families who have all their members in the same locality, to international families with households living (and interviewed) in Mexico and in the United States. By focusing on different outcomes, and by exploiting variation in the geographic dispersion and timing in migration histories within families, we aim to shed some light on the role of asymmetric information on family outcomes. To model the family decision problem we draw from the intra-household literature.

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Presented in Session 213: Family Decision Making and Investment