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Household decisions and equivalence scales

  • Udo Ebert
  • Patrick Moyes

    ()

Considering an economy with two goods {a private good and a household good with a variable degree of publicness {and identical individuals, the paper investigates the implications for economies of size of two extreme households' decision rules: (i) the cooperative model, where households maximize the welfare of their members, and (ii) the non-cooperative model, where each household's member maximizes her own utility. Under the cooperative rule, publicness of the household good is necessary and sufficient for positive economies of size and for these to increase with family size. This no longer holds true under the non-cooperative rule where negative economies of size may appear even in the case where the household consumption good is purely public. The results suggest that it is the inefficiency of the non-cooperative rule that is at the origin of the problem. Furthermore comparison of the scale factors' values indicates that the cooperative rule leads to less generous scales than the non-cooperative one.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00148-008-0186-7
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 22 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 1039-1062

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:22:y:2009:i:4:p:1039-1062
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  1. Jenkins, Stephen P & Lambert, Peter J, 1993. "Ranking Income Distributions When Needs Differ," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(4), pages 337-56, December.
  2. Paolo Figini, 1998. "Inequality Measures, Equivalence Scales and Adjustment for Household Size and Composition," Economics Technical Papers 988, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  3. Christos Koulovatianos & Carsten Schröder & Ulrich Schmidt, 2005. "Properties of Equivalence Scales in Different Countries," Vienna Economics Papers 0503, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  4. Christos Koulovatianos & Carsten Schroder & Ulrich Schmidt, 2004. "On the Income Dependence of Equivalence Scales," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 1-2004, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  5. Bourguignon, Francois & Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992. "Collective models of household behavior : An introduction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 355-364, April.
  6. Donaldson, David & Pendakur, Krishna, 2006. "The Identification of Fixed Costs From Consumer Behavior," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 24, pages 255-265, July.
  7. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
  8. Borcherding, Thomas E & Deacon, Robert T, 1972. "The Demand for the Services of Non-Federal Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 891-901, December.
  9. Lanjouw, Peter & Ravallion, Martin & DEC, 1994. "Poverty and household size," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1332, The World Bank.
  10. Coulter, Fiona A E & Cowell, Frank A & Jenkins, Stephen P, 1992. "Equivalence Scale Relativities and the Extent of Inequality and Poverty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1067-82, September.
  11. Udo Ebert & Patrick Moyes, 2003. "Equivalence Scales Reconsidered," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 319-343, January.
  12. Coulter, Fiona A E & Cowell, Frank A & Jenkins, Stephen P, 1992. "Differences in Needs and Assessment of Income Distributions," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 77-124, April.
  13. Donaldson, David & Pendakur, Krishna, 2004. "Equivalent-expenditure functions and expenditure-dependent equivalence scales," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 175-208, January.
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