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Gender and Say: A Model of Household Behavior with Endogenously-Determined Balance of Power

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  • Basu, Kaushik

    (Cornell U)

Abstract

The evidence that the same total income can lead a household to choose different consumption vectors, depending on who brings in how much of the income, has led to an effort to replace the standard unitary model of the household with the 'collective model', which recognizes that the husband and the wife may have different preferences and depending on the balance of power between them the household may choose differently. One weakness of this new literature is that it fails to recognize that the household's choice could in turn influence the balance of power. Once this two-way relation between choice and power is recognized we, are forced to confront some new questions concerning how to model the household. This paper tries to answer these by defining a 'household equilibrium', examining its game-theoretic properties and drawing out its testable implications. It is shown, for instance, that a household equilibrium can be inefficient and that (for a certain class of parameters) children will be least likely to work in a household where power is evenly balanced. The paper also draws out the implications for female labor supply.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics in its series Working Papers with number 01-01.

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Date of creation: Jan 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:corcae:01-01

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  1. Shelly J. Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak & Terence J. Wales, 1997. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from the United Kingdom Child Benefit," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 463-480.
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  4. Martin Browning & Pierre-André Chiappori & Valérie Lechene, 2006. "Collective and Unitary Models: A Clarification," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 5-14, 03.
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  8. Chiappori, P.A., 1989. "Collective Labour Supply and Welfare," DELTA Working Papers 89-07, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  9. Haller, Hans, 2000. "Household Decisions and Equilibrium Efficiency," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(4), pages 835-47, November.
  10. James A. Robinson & Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Political Losers as a Barrier to Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 126-130, May.
  11. Esther Duflo & Christopher Udry, 2003. "Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in Côte D'ivoire: Social Norms, Separate Accounts and Consumption Choices," Working Papers 857, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  12. Thomas, D., 1989. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Papers 586, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  13. Browning, Martin & Meghir, Costas, 1991. "The Effects of Male and Female Labor Supply on Commodity Demands," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 925-51, July.
  14. Zelizer, Viviana A, 1994. "The Creation of Domestic Currencies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 138-42, May.
  15. Bina Agarwal, 1997. "''Bargaining'' and Gender Relations: Within and Beyond the Household," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 1-51.
  16. Kaushik Basu, 1999. "Child Labor: Cause, Consequence, and Cure, with Remarks on International Labor Standards," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1083-1119, September.
  17. 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, vol. 102(6), pages 1067-96, December.
  18. Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria & Spolaore, Enrico, 1994. "How cynical can an incumbent be? Strategic policy in a model of government spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 121-140, September.
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  21. 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.
  22. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  23. David Sally, 2000. "Confronting the Sirens: Rational Behavior in the Face of Changing Preferences," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 156(4), pages 684-, December.
  24. 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.
  25. Browning, Martin, 1992. "Children and Household Economic Behavior," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1434-75, September.
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