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

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  • Kaushik Basu

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 once we allow for dynamic interaction a household can exhibit inefficient behavior, and that (for a certain class of parameters) children will be less likely to work in a household where power is evenly balanced, than one in which all power is concentrated in the hands of either the father or the mother. The paper also draws out the implications for female labor supply.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard - Institute of Economic Research in its series Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers with number 2054.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:2054

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  1. 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.
  2. Kocherlakota, Narayana R, 1996. "Implications of Efficient Risk Sharing without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 595-609, October.
  3. Shelly Lundberg & Robert Pollak, 2003. "Efficiency in Marriage," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 153-167, September.
  4. Basu, Kaushik, 1998. "Child labor : cause, consequence, and cure, with remarks on International Labor Standards," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2027, The World Bank.
  5. Martin Browning & Pierre-André Chiappori & Valérie Lechene, 2004. "Collective and Unitary Models: a Clarification," CAM Working Papers 2004-15, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  6. Browning, Martin, 1992. "Children and Household Economic Behavior," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1434-75, September.
  7. 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, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 121-140, September.
  8. Ethan Ligon & Jonathan P. Thomas & Tim Worrall, 1998. "Mutual Insurance, Individual Savings and Limited Commitment," Keele Department of Economics Discussion Papers (1995-2001), Department of Economics, Keele University 98/14, Department of Economics, Keele University.
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  10. Esther Duflo & Christopher Udry, 2003. "Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in Côte D'ivoire: Social Norms, Separate Accounts and Consumption Choices," Working Papers, Economic Growth Center, Yale University 857, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  11. Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
  12. 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, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(4), pages 835-47, November.
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  15. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  16. James A. Robinson & Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Political Losers as a Barrier to Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 126-130, May.
  17. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992. "Collective Labor Supply and Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 437-67, June.
  18. David Sally, 2000. "Confronting the Sirens: Rational Behavior in the Face of Changing Preferences," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 156(4), pages 684-, December.
  19. 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, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 31-44, February.
  20. Zelizer, Viviana A, 1994. "The Creation of Domestic Currencies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 138-42, May.
  21. 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.
  22. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
  23. Browning, Martin & Meghir, Costas, 1991. "The Effects of Male and Female Labor Supply on Commodity Demands," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 925-51, July.
  24. Bina Agarwal, 1997. "''Bargaining'' and Gender Relations: Within and Beyond the Household," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 1-51.
  25. 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.
  26. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-56, March.
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