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On the expansion of the market and the decline of the family

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  • Joel Guttman

    ()

  • Nira Yacouel

    ()

Abstract

Over the past two hundred years, large, modern firms have tended to replace small, family businesses. In parallel, the family has declined as a social institution. We suggest that these developments are interrelated. Because information of cheating in market transactions spreads only gradually in large markets, the reputation of the family firm could support contractual performance only in small, traditional markets. As markets grew in size, this reputational mechanism could no longer operate. The small, family firm was then replaced by the large, modern firm. This transition led to a decrease in the importance of the family. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Joel Guttman & Nira Yacouel, 2007. "On the expansion of the market and the decline of the family," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 1-13, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:5:y:2007:i:1:p:1-13 DOI: 10.1007/s11150-007-9003-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Becker, Gary S, 1993. "Nobel Lecture: The Economic Way of Looking at Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, pages 385-409.
    2. Katz, Eliakim & Rosenberg, Jacob, 2005. "An economic interpretation of institutional volunteering," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, pages 429-443.
    3. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 1998. "On the cultural transmission of preferences for social status," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 75-97.
    4. Joel M. Guttman, 2003. "Repeated interaction and the evolution of preferences for reciprocity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 631-656, July.
    5. Caplan, Bryan, 2003. "Stigler-Becker versus Myers-Briggs: why preference-based explanations are scientifically meaningful and empirically important," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 391-405.
    6. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 1998. "On the cultural transmission of preferences for social status," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 75-97.
    7. Smith, James P & Ward, Michael P, 1985. "Time-Series Growth in the Female Labor Force," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 59-90, January.
    8. Akerlof, George A, 1983. "Loyalty Filters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 54-63.
    9. Bernstein, Lisa, 1992. "Opting Out of the Legal System: Extralegal Contractual Relations in the Diamond Industry," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, pages 115-157.
    10. Guttman, Joel M., 2001. "Self-enforcing reciprocity norms and intergenerational transfers: theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 117-151.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alberto Alesina & Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Paola Giuliano, 2015. "Family Values And The Regulation Of Labor," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 599-630, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Reputation; Family; Theory of the firm; J12; L14; L25;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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