IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The American Family and Family Economics

  • Shelly Lundberg
  • Robert A. Pollak

Gary Becker's path-breaking Treatise on the Family (1981) subjected individuals' decisions about sex, marriage, childbearing, and childrearing to rational choice analysis. The American family has changed radically in recent decades; we survey these changes as well as the ongoing effort to understand partnering, parenting, and care of the elderly as results of maximizing choices made by individuals. First, we describe the recent changes in the American family: 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 family functions and home production by government programs and market transactions. Second, we examine recent work in family economics that attempts to explain these changes. Third, 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. Finally, we consider the effectiveness of policies to target benefits to certain family members (for instance, children) or to promote marriage and fertility.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.21.2.3
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 21 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
Pages: 3-26

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:21:y:2007:i:2:p:3-26
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.21.2.3
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/jep/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Lundberg, S.J. & Pollak, R.A. & Wales, T.J., 1994. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from U.K. Child Benefit," Working Papers 94-6, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  2. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Child Health and Household Resources in South Africa: Evidence from the Old Age Pension Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 393-398, May.
  3. Shelly Lundberg & Robert Pollak, 2003. "Efficiency in Marriage," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 153-167, September.
  4. Marianne Bitler & Jonah Gelbach & Hilary Hoynes & Madeline Zavodny, 2004. "The impact of welfare reform on marriage and divorce," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(2), pages 213-236, May.
  5. Nezih Guner & Jeremy Greenwood, 2004. "Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households," 2004 Meeting Papers 65, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Steven Stern & Maxim Engers, . "Long-Term Care and Family Bargaining," Virginia Economics Online Papers 320, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  7. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1976. "Child Endowments and the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S143-62, August.
  9. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Marianne Bitler & Jonah Gelbach & Hilary Hoynes, 2004. "Welfare Reform and Health," NBER Working Papers 10549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Lundberg, Shelly, 2005. "Men and islands: Dealing with the family in empirical labor economics," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 591-612, August.
  12. Almudena Sevilla-Sanz & Cristina Fernandez, 2006. "Social Norms and Household Time Allocation," Economics Series Working Papers 291, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  13. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-89, December.
  14. Robert A. Pollak, 2002. "Gary Becker's Contributions to Family and Household Economics," NBER Working Papers 9232, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, . "The Family and the State," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 87-15, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  16. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2003. "Welfare Reform and Children's Living Arrangements," Working Papers 111, RAND Corporation.
  17. Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Working Papers 91-08, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  18. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old Age Pension and Intra-household Allocation in South Africa," NBER Working Papers 8061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2007. "Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 27-52, Spring.
  20. Ellwood, David T. & Jencks, Christopher, 2004. "The Spread of Single-Parent Families in the United States since 1960," Working Paper Series rwp04-008, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  21. Robert J. Willis, 1999. "A Theory of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S33-S64, December.
  22. repec:pri:crcwel:wp02-03-ff-mincy is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Audrey Light & Kathleen McGarry, 2003. "Why Parents Play Favorites: Explanations for Unequal Bequests," NBER Working Papers 9745, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. 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, vol. 21(1), pages 31-44, February.
  25. Donna Ginther & Robert Pollak, 2004. "Family structure and children’s educational outcomes: Blended families, stylized facts, and descriptive regressions," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(4), pages 671-696, November.
  26. Konrad, Kai A. & Lommerud, Kjell Erik, 1996. "The Bargaining Family Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 1312, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  27. David Lam, 1988. "Marriage Markets and Assortative Mating with Household Public Goods: Theoretical Results and Empirical Implications," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 462-487.
  28. Claudia Goldin, 2006. "The Quiet Revolution that Transformed Women's Employment, Education, and Family," NBER Working Papers 11953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Christine Schwartz & Robert Mare, 2005. "Trends in educational assortative marriage from 1940 to 2003," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(4), pages 621-646, November.
  30. 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.
  31. Shelly Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak, 1996. "Bargaining and Distribution in Marriage," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 139-158, Fall.
  32. Cigno, Alessandro, 1993. "Intergenerational transfers without altruism : Family, market and state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 505-518, November.
  33. Ronald B. Mincy, 2002. "Who Should Marry Whom? : Multiple Partner Fertility Among New Parents," Working Papers 964, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
  34. Dan A. Black & Seth G. Sanders & Lowell J. Taylor, 2007. "The Economics of Lesbian and Gay Families," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 53-70, Spring.
  35. Folbre, Nancy, 1994. "Children as Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 86-90, May.
  36. Pollak, Robert A, 1985. "A Transaction Cost Approach to Families and Households," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 581-608, June.
  37. Liliana E. Pezzin & Robert A. Pollak & Barbara S. Schone, 2007. "Efficiency in Family Bargaining: Living Arrangements and Caregiving Decisions of Adult Children and Disabled Elderly Parents," CESifo Working Paper Series 1908, CESifo Group Munich.
  38. Theodore C. Bergstrom, 2007. "Some Evolutionary Economics of Family Partnerships," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 482-486, May.
  39. Becker, Gary S, 1981. "Altruism in the Family and Selfishness in the Market Place," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 48(189), pages 1-15, February.
  40. Anne Winkler & Timothy McBride & Courtney Andrews, 2005. "Wives who outearn their husbands: A transitory or persistent phenomenon for couples?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(3), pages 523-535, August.
  41. Jane Waldfogel, 1998. "Understanding the "Family Gap" in Pay for Women with Children," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 137-156, Winter.
  42. Burdett, Kenneth & Ermisch, John, 2002. "Single mothers," ISER Working Paper Series 2002-30, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  43. Sara Mclanahan, 2004. "Diverging destinies: How children are faring under the second demographic transition," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(4), pages 607-627, November.
  44. Lisa Gennetian, 2005. "One or two parents? Half or step siblings? The effect of family structure on young children's achievement," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(3), pages 415-436, 09.
  45. Liliana Pezzin & Barbara Schone, 1999. "Parental marital disruption and intergenerational transfers: An analysis of lone elderly parents and their children," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 36(3), pages 287-297, August.
  46. McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1981. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of the Theory of Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 333-49, June.
  47. Peter Kooreman, 2000. "The Labeling Effect of a Child Benefit System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 571-583, June.
  48. Pollak, Robert A, 1988. "Tied Transfers and Paternalistic Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 240-44, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:21:y:2007:i:2:p:3-26. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros)

or (Michael P. Albert)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.