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Uncommitted Couples: Some Efficiency and Policy Implications of Marital Bargaining

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  • Saku Aura

Abstract

This paper studies a married couple’s dynamic investment and consumption choices under the assumption that the couple cannot commit across time not to renegotiate their decisions. The inefficiencies that can arise are characterized. Efficiency properties of different divorce asset-division regimes are examined. A stylized common-law regime is shown to lead to fully efficient outcome in a simple model while it is shown that under a community-property regime the couple is unlikely to attain full efficiency. The effect of the inability to commit across time on the savings level is examined under a tractable special case of the model.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2002/wp-cesifo-2002-10/cesifo_wp801.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 801.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_801

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  1. Aura, Saku, 2005. "Does the balance of power within a family matter? The case of the Retirement Equity Act," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1699-1717, September.
  2. Ethan Ligon & Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 1998. "Mutual Insurance, Individual Savings and Limited Commitment," Keele Department of Economics Discussion Papers (1995-2001) 98/14, Department of Economics, Keele University.
  3. Shelly J. Lundberg & Jennifer Ward-Batts, 2000. "Saving for Retirement: Household Bargaining and Household Net Worth," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1414, Econometric Society.
  4. Browning, Martin, 2000. " The Saving Behaviour of a Two-Person Household," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(2), pages 235-51, June.
  5. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
  6. McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1981. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of the Theory of Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 333-49, June.
  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 94-6, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  8. Shelly Lundberg & Richard Startz & Steven Stillman, 2001. "The Retirement-Consumption Puzzle: A Marital Bargaining Approach," Working Papers 01-04, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  9. Esther Duflo, 2003. "Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old-Age Pensions and Intrahousehold Allocation in South Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(1), pages 1-25, June.
  10. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
  11. repec:bla:restud:v:74:y:2007:i:3:p:857-895 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Manser, Marilyn & Brown, Murray, 1980. "Marriage and Household Decision-Making: A Bargaining Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 31-44, February.
  13. Dnes, Antony W., 1999. "Applications of economic analysis to marital law: concerning a proposal to reform the discretionary approach to the division of marital assets in England and Wales," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 533-552, December.
  14. Maurizio Mazzocco, 2007. "Household Intertemporal Behaviour: A Collective Characterization and a Test of Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 857-895.
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Cited by:
  1. Pericoli, Filippo Maria & Ventura, Luigi, 2011. "Family dissolution and precautionary savings: an empirical analysis," MPRA Paper 36354, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Stefania Marcassa, 2013. "Divorce Laws and Divorce Rate in the U.S," Post-Print hal-00865640, HAL.
  3. Rasul, Imran, 2008. "Household bargaining over fertility: Theory and evidence from Malaysia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 215-241, June.
  4. Lundberg, Shelly, 2005. "Men and islands: Dealing with the family in empirical labor economics," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 591-612, August.
  5. Shelly Lundberg & Robert Pollak, 2003. "Efficiency in Marriage," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 153-167, September.
  6. Strand, Jon, 2009. "Individual and household value of mortality reductions with intrahousehold bargaining," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2004:2, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.
  7. Gonzalez, Libertad & Özcan, Berkay, 2008. "The Risk of Divorce and Household Saving Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 3726, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Helmut Rainer, 2003. "Should We Write Prenuptial Contracts?," Economics Discussion Papers 572, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  9. Malapit, Hazel Jean L., 2012. "Why do spouses hide income?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 584-593.
  10. Pollak, Robert, 2007. "Family Bargaining and Taxes: A Prolegomenon to the Analysis of Joint Taxation," IZA Discussion Papers 3109, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Alessandra Voena, 2010. "Yours, Mine and Ours: Do Divorce Laws affect the Intertemporal Behavior of Married Couples??," 2010 Meeting Papers 1329, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Robert A. Pollak, 2005. "Bargaining Power in Marriage: Earnings, Wage Rates and Household Production," NBER Working Papers 11239, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Alessandra Voena, 2011. "Yours, Mine and Ours: Do Divorce Laws Affect the Intertemporal Behavior of Married Couples?," Discussion Papers 10-022, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  14. Katarina Nordblom, 2004. "Cohabitation and Marriage in a Risky World," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 325-340, 04.

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