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The American Family and Family Economics

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  • Shelly Lundberg
  • Robert A. Pollak

Abstract

The twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of Gary Becker's path-breaking "Treatise on the Family" provides an occasion to reexamine both the American family and family economics. We begin by discussing how families have changed in recent decades: the separation of sex, marriage, and childbearing; fewer children and smaller households; converging work and education patterns for men and women; class divergence in partnering and parenting strategies; and the replacement of what had been family functions and home production by government programs and market transactions. After discussing recent work in family economics that attempts to explain these changes, we point out some challenging areas for further analysis, and highlight issues of commitment in two primary family relationships: those between men and women, and those between parents and children. We conclude by discussing the effectiveness of policies to target benefits to certain family members (e.g., children) or to promote marriage and fertility.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12908.

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Date of creation: Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12908

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jennie Brand & Dwight Davis, 2011. "The Impact of College Education on Fertility: Evidence for Heterogeneous Effects," Demography, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 863-887, August.
  2. Martha J. Bailey, 2009. ""Momma's Got the Pill": How Anthony Comstock and Griswold v. Connecticut Shaped U.S. Childbearing," NBER Working Papers 14675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Joni Hersch, 2009. "Home production and wages: evidence from the American Time Use Survey," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 159-178, June.
  4. Michael Malcolm, 2012. "A noncooperative marriage model with remarriage," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 133-151, March.
  5. Francesconi, Marco & Ghiglino, Christian & Perry, Motty, 2009. "On the Origin of the Family," IZA Discussion Papers 4637, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Alejandro Cid & Charles E. Stokes, 2011. "Family Structural Influences on Children’s Education Attainment:Evidence from Uruguay," Documentos de Trabajo/Working Papers 1103, Facultad de Ciencias Empresariales y Economia. Universidad de Montevideo..
  7. Samuel H. Preston & Caroline Sten Hartnett, 2008. "The Future of American Fertility," NBER Working Papers 14498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Kawaguchi, Daiji & Lee, Soohyung, 2012. "Brides for Sale: Cross-Border Marriages and Female Immigration," IZA Discussion Papers 6458, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Lucifora, Claudio & Meurs, Dominique, 2012. "Family Values, Social Needs and Preferences for Welfare," IZA Discussion Papers 6977, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Robert A. Pollak, 2013. "Allocating Household Time: When Does Efficiency Imply Specialization?," NBER Working Papers 19178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Tomas Sobotka, 2008. "Overview Chapter 6: The diverse faces of the Second Demographic Transition in Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(8), pages 171-224, July.
  12. Rundshagen, Bianca, 2013. "Mediation - Boon or Bane for the Stability and Efficiency of Marriage?," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79840, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  13. Robert A. Pollak, 2011. "Allocating Time: Individuals' Technologies, Household Technology, Perfect Substitutes, and Specialization," NBER Working Papers 17529, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Raphaela Hyee, 2011. "Education in a Marriage Market Model without Commitment," Working Papers 683, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  15. Sylvia Brandt & Peter Marie, 2011. "Racial Disparities in Hospital Length of Stay for Asthma: Implications for Economic Policies," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 152-169, March.
  16. Andaluz, Joaquín & Marcén, Miriam & Molina, José Alberto, 2007. "Income Transfers, Welfare and Family Decisions," IZA Discussion Papers 2804, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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