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Independent Individual Decision-Makers in Household Models and the New Home Economics

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  • Grossbard, Shoshana

    ()
    (San Diego State University)

Abstract

Much of the recent literature in household economics has been critical of unitary models of household decision-making. Most alternative models currently used are bargaining models and consensual models, including collective models. This paper discusses another alternative: independent individual models of decision-making that don't make any specific assumptions of jointness of decision-making in households. Unitary models are typically associated with Gary Becker even though most of Becker’s own analyses of the family did not use his unitary model. This is especially the case with the specifically independent individual models presented in his theory of marriage. Decision-making models assuming independent individual household members in the Becker tradition are reminiscent of models of labor markets in which firms and workers are independent decision-makers. As basis for econometric estimations, such models may be preferable to models imposing the structure of a game or a household welfare function.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5138.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: J. Alberto Molina (ed.), Household Economic Behaviors, Springer: 2011
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5138

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Keywords: Gary Becker; household model; unitary model; marriage; labor;

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  1. Shoshana Grossbard, 2009. "How "Chicagoan" are Gary Becker's Economic Models of Marriage?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2637, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Grossbard-Shechtman, Shoshana, 2003. "A consumer theory with competitive markets for work in marriage," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 609-645.
  3. Hans G. Bloemen* and Elena G. F. Stancanelli, 2008. "How do spouses allocate time : the effects of wages and income," THEMA Working Papers 2008-40, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  4. Grossbard-Shechtman, Shoshana Amyra, 1984. "A Theory of Allocation of Time in Markets for Labour and Marriage," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376), pages 863-82, December.
  5. 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.
  6. Chau, Tak Wai & Li, Hongbin & Liu, Pak Wai & Zhang, Junsen, 2007. "Testing the collective model of household labor supply: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 389-402.
  7. Konrad, Kai A & Lommerud, Kjell Erik, 1995. " Family Policy with Non-cooperative Families," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 581-601, December.
  8. Apps, Patricia F. & Rees, Ray, 1988. "Taxation and the household," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 355-369, April.
  9. Cain, Glen G & Dooley, Martin D, 1976. "Estimation of a Model of Labor Supply, Fertility, and Wages of Married Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S179-99, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Dan Wheatley and Zhongmin Wu, 2011. "Work, Inequality, and the Dual Career Household," Working Papers 2011/03, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Business School, Economics Division.
  2. Matthieu Delpierre, 2010. "The Impact of Liquidity Constraints and Imperfect Commitment on Migration Decisions of Offspring of Rural Households," Working Papers 1011, University of Namur, Department of Economics.

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