Family Bonding with Universities

29 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2009 Last revised: 16 Nov 2009

See all articles by Jonathan Meer

Jonathan Meer

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics

Harvey S. Rosen

Princeton University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: November 2009

Abstract

One justification offered for legacy admissions policies at universities is that that they bind entire families to the university. Proponents maintain that these policies have a number of benefits, including increased donations from members of these families. We use a rich set of data from an anonymous selective research institution to investigate which types of family members have the most important effect upon donative behavior. We find that the effects of attendance by members of the younger generation (children, children-in-law, nieces and nephews) are greater than the effects of attendance by the older generations (parents, parents-in-law, aunts and uncles). Previous research has indicated that, in a variety of contexts, men and women differ in their altruistic behavior. However, we find that there are no statistically discernible differences between men and women in the way their donations depends on the alumni status of various types of relatives. Neither does the gender of the various types of relatives who attended the university seem to matter. Thus, for example, the impact of having a son attend the univer-sity is no different from the effect of a daughter.

Suggested Citation

Meer, Jonathan and Rosen, Harvey S., Family Bonding with Universities (November 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w15493, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1501988

Jonathan Meer

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics ( email )

5201 University Blvd.
College Station, TX 77843-4228
United States

Harvey S. Rosen (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )

001 Fisher Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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