How Hungry is the Selfish Gene?
Article first published online: 25 DEC 2001
Royal Economic Society 2000
The Economic Journal
Volume 110, Issue 466, pages 781–804, October 2000
How to Cite
Case, A., Lin, I.-F. and McLanahan, S. (2000), How Hungry is the Selfish Gene?. The Economic Journal, 110: 781–804. doi: 10.1111/1468-0297.00565
- Issue published online: 25 DEC 2001
- Article first published online: 25 DEC 2001
- Cited By
We examine resource allocation in step-households in the United States and South Africa to test whether child investments vary according to economic and genetic bonds between parent and child. In the United States, households spend less on food when a child is raised by a non-biological mother. The reduction is identical for step, adoptive, and foster households, consistent with the hypothesis that genetic ties are the ones that binds. In South Africa, where food spending can be disaggregated, households spend less on milk, fruit and vegetables, and more on tobacco and alcohol, in the absence of a child's birth mother.