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Bargaining and Distribution in Marriage

  • Shelly Lundberg
  • Robert A. Pollak

The standard economic model of the family is a 'common preference' model that assumes that a family maximizes a single utility function and implies that family behavior is independent of which individuals receive income or control resources. In recent years, this model has been challenged by game-theoretic models of marriage that do not impose 'pooling' and are, therefore, consistent with empirical evidence that income controlled by husbands and wives does have different effects on family behavior. In this paper, the authors review a number of simple bargaining models and relevant empirical evidence, and discuss their implications for distribution within marriage.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.10.4.139
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 10 (1996)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
Pages: 139-158

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:10:y:1996:i:4:p:139-58
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.10.4.139
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  1. Marjorie B. McElroy, 1990. "The Empirical Content of Nash-Bargained Household Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 559-583.
  2. Duncan Thomas, 1994. "Like Father, like Son; Like Mother, like Daughter: Parental Resources and Child Height," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 950-988.
  3. T. Paul Schultz, 1990. "Testing the Neoclassical Model of Family Labor Supply and Fertility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 599-634.
  4. Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Working Papers 91-08, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  5. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
  7. Haddad, Lawrence & Kanbur, Ravi, 1990. "How Serious Is the Neglect of Intra-Household Inequality?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(402), pages 866-81, September.
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