IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Unitary versus Collective Models of the Household: Is It Time to Shift the Burden of Proof?


  • Alderman, Harold, et al


Most development objectives focus on the well-being of individuals. Policies are targeted to increase the percentage of individuals who avoid poverty, who can read, who are free from hunger and illness, or who can find gainful employment. Individual welfare, however, is based in large part on a complex set of interactions among family members. Until recently most policy analyses implicitly viewed the household as having only one set of preferences. This assumption has been a powerful tool for understanding household behavior, such as the distribution of tasks and goods. But a growing body of evidence suggests that this view is an expedience that comes at considerable, and possibly avoidable, cost. The article argues that more effective policy instruments will emerge from analyzing the processes by which households balance the diverse interests of their members. Coauthors are Pierre-Andre Chiappori, Lawrence Haddad, John Hoddinott, and Ravi Kanbur. Copyright 1995 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Alderman, Harold, et al, 1995. "Unitary versus Collective Models of the Household: Is It Time to Shift the Burden of Proof?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 10(1), pages 1-19, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:10:y:1995:i:1:p:1-19

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Fajnzylber, Eduardo & Schmukler, Sergio L. & Serven, Luis, 2001. "Verifying exchange rate regimes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 351-386, December.
    2. William Easterly, 1999. "When is fiscal adjustment an illusion?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 14(28), pages 55-86, April.
    3. Sanguinetti, Pablo & Tommasi, Mariano, 2004. "Intergovernmental transfers and fiscal behavior insurance versus aggregate discipline," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 149-170, January.
    4. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1996. "Currency Crashes in Emerging Markets: Empirical Indicators," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers 233424, University of California-Berkeley, Department of Economics.
    5. Cohen, Daniel & Portes, Richard, 2004. "Dealing with Destabilizing 'Market Discipline'," CEPR Discussion Papers 4280, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Cukierman, Alex & Webb, Steven B & Neyapti, Bilin, 1992. "Measuring the Independence of Central Banks and Its Effect on Policy Outcomes," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 353-398, September.
    7. Carmen M. Reinhart & Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1999. "The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 473-500, June.
    8. Hnatkovska, Viktoria & Loayza, Norman, 2004. "Volatility and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3184, The World Bank.
    9. Edison, Hali J. & Levine, Ross & Ricci, Luca & Slok, Torsten, 2002. "International financial integration and economic growth," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 749-776, November.
    10. Masson, Paul R., 2001. "Exchange rate regime transitions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 571-586, April.
    11. M. Ayhan Kose & Eswar Prasad & Kenneth Rogoff & Shang-Jin Wei, 2009. "Financial Globalization: A Reappraisal," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 56(2), pages 143-197, June.
    12. Augusto de la Torre & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2004. "Coping with Risks through Mismatches: Domestic and International Financial Contracts for Emerging Economies," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 349-390, December.
    13. Paul Krugman, 1999. "Balance Sheets, the Transfer Problem, and Financial Crises," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 6(4), pages 459-472, November.
    14. Eva Gutierrez, 2003. "Inflation Performance and Constitutional Central Bank Independence; Evidence From Latin America and the Caribbean," IMF Working Papers 03/53, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Easterly, William & Fischer, Stanley, 2001. "Inflation and the Poor," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 160-178, May.
    16. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo, 2000. "When Capital Inflows Come to a Sudden Stop: Consequences and Policy Options," MPRA Paper 6982, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Sarkar, Sudipto, 2000. "On the investment-uncertainty relationship in a real options model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 219-225, February.
    18. Cukierman, Alex & Miller, Geoffrey P. & Neyapti, Bilin, 2002. "Central bank reform, liberalization and inflation in transition economies--an international perspective," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 237-264, March.
    19. Marta Campillo & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1997. "Why Does Inflation Differ across Countries?," NBER Chapters,in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 335-362 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Forbes, Kristin J., 2007. "One cost of the Chilean capital controls: Increased financial constraints for smaller traded firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 294-323, April.
    21. Schmukler, Sergio L. & Serven, Luis, 2002. "Pricing currency risk under currency boards," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 367-391, December.
    22. Ize, Alain & Yeyati, Eduardo Levy, 2003. "Financial dollarization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 323-347, March.
    23. Ernesto Talvi & Carlos A. Vegh, 2000. "Tax Base Variability and Procyclical Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 7499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Montiel, Peter & Reinhart, Carmen M., 1999. "Do capital controls and macroeconomic policies influence the volume and composition of capital flows? Evidence from the 1990s," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 619-635, August.
    25. Stanley Fischer, 2001. "Exchange Rate Regimes: Is the Bipolar View Correct?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 3-24, Spring.
    26. Talvi, Ernesto, 1997. "Exchange rate-based stabilization with endogenous fiscal response," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 59-75, October.
    27. James E. Alt & David Dreyer Lassen, 2003. "Fiscal Transparency and Fiscal Policy Outcomes in OECD Countries," EPRU Working Paper Series 03-02, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    28. Marina Halac & Sergio Schmukler, 2003. "Distributional effects of crises : the role of financial transfers," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3173, The World Bank.
    29. Perry, Guillermo & Serven, Luis, 2003. "The anatomy of a multiple crisis : why was Argentina special and what can we learn from it?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3081, The World Bank.
    30. Lane, Philip R., 2003. "The cyclical behaviour of fiscal policy: evidence from the OECD," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2661-2675, December.
    31. Haan, Jakob de & Kooi, Willem J., 2000. "Does central bank independence really matter?: New evidence for developing countries using a new indicator," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 643-664, April.
    32. Rodrik, Dani, 2001. "Why is there so much economic insecurity in Latin America?," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), April.
    33. Dani Rodrik & Andres Velasco, 1999. "Short-Term Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 7364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    34. Fukuda, Shin-ichi & Hoshi, Takeo & Ito, Takatoshi & Rose, Andrew, 2006. "International Finance," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 455-458, December.
    35. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2002. "Credit, Prices, and Crashes: Business Cycles with a Sudden Stop," NBER Chapters,in: Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets, pages 335-392 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:10:y:1995:i:1:p:1-19. 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: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.