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Testing the Family "Common Preference" Model for Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Women's Labour Supply


  • Urvashi Dhawan Biswal


The objective of this paper is to test the "income-pooling" hypothesis implicit in the "common preference" model of the family for immigrant and non-immigrant, married women in Canada. We employ two cross-sections of the Family Expenditure Survey - 1986 and 1992. The hypothesis is tested against the "bargaining" model which belongs to an alternate class of family models known as "collective" models. Consistent with previous findings, we find that the pooling hypothesis is rejected for non-immigrant women. In addition, we find that the pooling hypothesis is also rejected for immigrant women. The rejection of the pooling hypothesis implies that the transfer income received by a wife and the transfer income received by a husband have different effects on labour supply. This has important policy implications as to the effect on women's labour supply of transfers received by her or her spouse under family policies such as the Child Tax Benefit in Canada.

Suggested Citation

  • Urvashi Dhawan Biswal, 1999. "Testing the Family "Common Preference" Model for Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Women's Labour Supply," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 25(s1), pages 95-114, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:25:y:1999:i:s1:p:95-114

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert A, 1993. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 988-1010, December.
    2. Christopher Worswick, 1996. "Immigrant Families in the Canadian Labour Market," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 22(4), pages 378-396, December.
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    6. Phipps, Shelley A & Burton, Peter S, 1998. "What's Mine Is Yours? The Influence of Male and Female Incomes on Patterns of Household Expenditure," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(260), pages 599-613, November.
    7. Mroz, Thomas A, 1987. "The Sensitivity of an Empirical Model of Married Women's Hours of Work to Economic and Statistical Assumptions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 765-799, July.
    8. Fortin, B. & Lacroix, G., 1993. "A Test of the Neoclassical and Collective Models of Household Labour Supply," Papers 9335, Laval - Recherche en Politique Economique.
    9. 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.
    10. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1984. "Tobit models: A survey," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 3-61.
    11. Lundberg, Shelly J, 1988. "Labor Supply of Husbands and Wives: A Simultaneous Equations Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 224-235, May.
    12. Shelley A. Phipps & Peter S. Burton, 1996. "Collective Models of Family Behaviour: Implications for Economic Policy," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 22(2), pages 129-143, June.
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