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Household Behavior and the Marriage Market

  • Daniela Del Boca
  • Christopher J. Flinn

There is some controversy in the field of household economics regarding the efficiency of household decisions. We make the point that a flexible specification of spousal preferences and the household production technology precludes the possibility of using revealed preference data on household time allocations to determine the manner in which spouses interact: efficiently or inefficiently. Under strong, but standard, assumptions regarding marriage market equilibria, marital sorting patterns can be used essentially as “out of sample” information that allows us to assess whether household behavior is efficient or not. We develop a new likelihood-based metric to compare marriage market fits under the two alternative behavioral assumptions. We use a sample of households drawn from a recent wave of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, and find strong evidence supporting the view that household behavior is (constrained) efficient.

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File URL: http://www.carloalberto.org/assets/working-papers/no.254.pdf
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Paper provided by Collegio Carlo Alberto in its series Carlo Alberto Notebooks with number 254.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:254
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  1. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
  2. Aiyagari, S.R. & Greenwood, J. & Guner, N., 1999. "On the State of the Union," RCER Working Papers 462, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. Daniela Del Boca & Christopher Flinn, 2009. "Endogeneous Household Interaction," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 109, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  4. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, . "More on Marriage, Fertility, and the Distribution of Inocome," CARESS Working Papres 99-05, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  5. Martin Browning & P.A. Chiappori, 1996. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations - A General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Discussion Papers 96-10, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  6. Raquel Ferndez & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2001. "Love and Money: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Household Sorting and Inequality," Penn CARESS Working Papers d3d043317c8e26c4039c21aa0, Penn Economics Department.
  7. François Bourguignon & Martin Browning & Pierre-André Chiappori, 2006. "Efficient Intra-household Allocations and Distribution Factors: Implications and Identification," CAM Working Papers 2006-02, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  8. John Dagsvik & Helge Brunborg & Ane Flaatten, 2001. "A behavioral two-sex marriage model," Mathematical Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 97-121.
  9. Chen, Zhiqi & Woolley, Frances, 2001. "A Cournot-Nash Model of Family Decision Making," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 722-48, October.
  10. Randall P. Walsh & Murat F. Iyigun, 2004. "Building the Family Nest: A Collective Household Model with Competing Pre-Marital Investments and Spousal Matching," 2004 Meeting Papers 168, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Chiappori, P.A., 1989. "Collective Labour Supply and Welfare," DELTA Working Papers 89-07, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  12. Eugene Choo & Aloysius Siow, 2006. "Who Marries Whom and Why," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 175-201, February.
  13. Bound, John, et al, 1994. "Evidence on the Validity of Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Labor Market Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 345-68, July.
  14. Maurizio Mazzocco, 2007. "Household Intertemporal Behaviour: A Collective Characterization and a Test of Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 857-895.
  15. repec:bla:restud:v:74:y:2007:i:3:p:857-895 is not listed on IDEAS
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