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Collective Models of Family Behaviour: Implications for Economic Policy

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  • Shelley A. Phipps
  • Peter S. Burton

Abstract

Many economists have until fairly recently treated the family as a "black box" -- analysing the behaviour of "the family" rather than of the individuals within the family. In this paper, we outline the new "collective" approach to modelling family behaviour which makes explicit the fact that families consist of individuals with different tastes and different experiences who may sometimes be in conflict with one another. This paper argues that new developments in the economics of the family are of interest to policy-makers because many policy conclusions are sensitive to the model of the family which is adopted. We illustrate the importance of the collective approach to decisions about child-support guidelines, automatic withholding of support payments, child benefits, cash versus kind transfers, and individual versus family taxation.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 22 (1996)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 129-143

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Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:22:y:1996:i:2:p:129-143

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References

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  1. T. Paul Schultz, 1990. "Testing the Neoclassical Model of Family Labor Supply and Fertility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 599-634.
  2. Kooreman, P. & Kapteyn, A.J., 1987. "A disaggregrated analysis of the allocation of time within the household," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-364357, Tilburg University.
  3. Thomas, D., 1989. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Papers, Yale - Economic Growth Center 586, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  4. Shelley A. Phipps & Peter S. Burton, 1995. "Sharing within Families: Implications for the Measurement of Poverty among Individuals in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(1), pages 177-204, February.
  5. Phipps, Shelley, 1990. "Quantity-Constrainted Household Responses to UI Reform," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(399), pages 124-40, March.
  6. Jerry A. Hausman & Paul Ruud, 1984. "Family Labor Supply With Taxes," NBER Working Papers 1271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lundberg, S.J. & Pollak, R.A. & Wales, T.J., 1994. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from U.K. Child Benefit," Working Papers, University of Washington, Department of Economics 94-6, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  8. Janet Currie, 1993. "Welfare and the Well-Being of Children: The Relative Effectiveness of Cash and In-Kind Transfers," NBER Working Papers 4539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bergstrom, Theodore C, 1989. "A Fresh Look at the Rotten Kid Theorem--and Other Household Mysteries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1138-59, October.
  10. Browning, Martin & Francois Bourguignon & Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Valerie Lechene, 1994. "Income and Outcomes: A Structural Model of Intrahousehold Allocation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1067-96, December.
  11. Woolley, Frances R, 1993. "The Feminist Challenge to Neoclassical Economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 485-500, December.
  12. Haddad, Lawrence & Hoddinott, John, 1994. "Women's income and boy-girl anthropometric status in the Cote d'Ivoire," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 543-553, April.
  13. Barbara Bergmann, 1995. "Becker's theory of the family: Preposterous conclusions," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 141-150.
  14. Fortin, B. & Lacroix, G., 1993. "A Test of the Neoclassical and Collective Models of Household Labour Supply," Papers, Laval - Recherche en Politique Economique 9335, Laval - Recherche en Politique Economique.
  15. Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington, Department of Economics at the University of Washington 91-08, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  16. Hoddinott, John & Haddad, Lawrence, 1995. "Does Female Income Share Influence Household Expenditures? Evidence from Cote d'Ivoire," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 77-96, February.
  17. Marjorie B. McElroy, 1990. "The Empirical Content of Nash-Bargained Household Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 559-583.
  18. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
  19. Folbre, Nancy, 1986. "Cleaning house : New perspectives on Households and Economic Development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 5-40, June.
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Cited by:
  1. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00590395 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Chiuri, Maria Concetta, 2000. "Individual decisions and household demand for consumption and leisure," Research in Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 277-324, September.
  3. Frederic Vermeulen, 2000. "Collective household models: principles and main results," Public Economics Working Paper Series, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics ces0028, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics.
  4. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 1998. "Family Background, Family Income, Maternal Work and Child Development," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal 78, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  5. Urvashi Dhawan Biswal, 1999. "Testing the Family "Common Preference" Model for Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Women's Labour Supply," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, University of Toronto Press, vol. 25(s1), pages 95-114, November.

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