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Social/institutional variables and behavior within households: An empirical test using the Luxembourg income study

  • Shelley Phipps
  • Peter Burton

High on the research agenda of feminist economists is the development of better models of what goes on within families. This paper contributes by conducting empirical tests of the impact of social/institutional factors on behavior within marriage. As one example, “divorce-threat” bargaining models predict that greater certainty of receiving child support should increase a woman's bargaining power within a marriage and hence observable behavioral outcomes. Within a single country, there is limited variation in the social/institutional factors which might affect bargaining power, but across countries identifying variation can be found. Thus, we use a micro-data set constructed using seven countries from the Luxembourg Income Study database in order to estimate a probit model of the labor-force participation of married women. Our conclusions suggest that, contrary to the predictions of Becker-style unitary models, some social/institutional factors do influence individual behavior within the household.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Feminist Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (1995)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 151-174

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Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:1:y:1995:i:1:p:151-174
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