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Opening the Black Box of Intrahousehold Decision Making: Theory and Nonparametric Empirical Tests of General Collective Consumption Models

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  • Laurens Cherchye
  • Bram De Rock
  • Frederic Vermeulen

Abstract

We provide "revealed preference" tests of general collective consumption models that account for public consumption and externalities within the household. We further propose a novel approach to model special cases of this model, which imply alternative assumptions regarding the sharing rule. Our application uses the panel data from the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey. We find that the general model, together with a large class of special cases, cannot be rejected. By contrast, we do reject the standard unitary model. Since our tests are entirely nonparametric, this provides strong evidence in favor of models focusing on intrahousehold decision making. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2009. "Opening the Black Box of Intrahousehold Decision Making: Theory and Nonparametric Empirical Tests of General Collective Consumption Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(6), pages 1074-1104, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:117:y:2009:i:6:p:1074-1104
    DOI: 10.1086/649563
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2007. "The Collective Model of Household Consumption: A Nonparametric Characterization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 553-574, March.
    2. Varian, Hal R, 1982. "The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 945-973, July.
    3. Martin Browning & Pierre-André Chiappori & Arthur Lewbel, 2013. "Estimating Consumption Economies of Scale, Adult Equivalence Scales, and Household Bargaining Power," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1267-1303.
    4. M. Browning & P. A. Chiappori, 1998. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations: A General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1241-1278, November.
    5. Browning, Martin & Meghir, Costas, 1991. "The Effects of Male and Female Labor Supply on Commodity Demands," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 925-951, July.
    6. Laurens Cherchye & Frederic Vermeulen, 2008. "Nonparametric Analysis of Household Labor Supply: Goodness of Fit and Power of the Unitary and the Collective Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 267-274, May.
    7. Richard W. Blundell & Martin Browning & Ian A. Crawford, 2003. "Nonparametric Engel Curves and Revealed Preference," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 205-240, January.
    8. Frederic Vermeulen, 2005. "And the winner is... An empirical evaluation of unitary and collective labour supply models," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 711-734, October.
    9. Richard Blundell & Martin Browning & Ian Crawford, 2008. "Best Nonparametric Bounds on Demand Responses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1227-1262, November.
    10. Hal R. Varian, 1983. "Non-parametric Tests of Consumer Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(1), pages 99-110.
    11. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
    12. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992. "Collective Labor Supply and Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 437-467, June.
    13. Susan K. Snyder, 2000. "Nonparametric Testable Restrictions of Household Behavior," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 67(1), pages 171-185, July.
    14. Bronars, Stephen G, 1987. "The Power of Nonparametric Tests of Preference Maximization [The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis]," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 693-698, May.
    15. Fortin, B. & Lacroix, G., 1993. "A Test of the Neoclassical and Collective Models of Household Labour Supply," Papers 9335, Laval - Recherche en Politique Economique.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General

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