Altruism and efficient allocations in three-generation households

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Rebecca McDonald
  • Susan M. Chilton
  • Jytte Seested Nielsen
  • Anna Bartczak
  • Wiktor Budzinski

Colleges, School and Institutes


In this paper we test the efficiency of family resource allocation in three-generation households. Understanding how the so-called “squeezed middle” generation allocates resources towards the children and grandparents in the household will be increasingly important as populations age, and more elderly people become dependent upon their relations for financial support. Despite a large literature on household resource allocation in two generation households (parents and children), to the best of our knowledge ours is the first study that includes the third generation. We present a theoretical model and conduct a discrete choice experiment in the context of reductions in the lifetime risk of developing coronary artery disease to verify the efficient resource allocation hypothesis. The data is obtained from a large sample of the Polish population. The sample consists of the middle generation members of three-generation households and hence WTP represents household value from the perspective of the “squeezed middle” parent. The results imply that household resource allocation is efficient. This has implications for understanding the likely response to government financial support aimed at supporting elderly people and their families.

Bibliographic note

Not yet published as of 04/05/2021.


Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Risk and Uncertainty
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Mar 2021


  • altruism, efficient allocation, three-generation households, health risk, willingness to pay