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Household Behavior and the Marriage Market

Author

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  • Daniela Del Boca
  • Christopher J. Flinn

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniela Del Boca & Christopher J. Flinn, 2012. "Household Behavior and the Marriage Market," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 254, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  • Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:254
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Del Boca, Daniela & Flinn, Christopher, 2012. "Endogenous household interaction," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(1), pages 49-65.
    2. 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.
    3. S. Rao Aiyagari & Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2000. "On the State of the Union," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 213-244, April.
    4. Raquel Fernández & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2005. "Love and Money: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Household Sorting and Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 273-344.
    5. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & John A. Knowles, 2003. "More on Marriage, Fertility, and the Distribution of Income," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(3), pages 827-862, August.
    6. 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.
    7. M. Browning & P. A. Chiappori, 1998. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations: A General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, pages 1241-1278.
    8. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
    9. Chen, Zhiqi & Woolley, Frances, 2001. "A Cournot-Nash Model of Family Decision Making," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 722-748, October.
    10. 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.
    11. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992. "Collective Labor Supply and Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 437-467, June.
    12. François Bourguignon & Martin Browning & Pierre-André Chiappori, 2009. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations and Distribution Factors: Implications and Identification," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 503-528.
    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 345-368, 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Georgi Kocharkov & Cezar Santos, 2016. "Technology and the Changing Family: A Unified Model of Marriage, Divorce, Educational Attainment, and Married Female Labor-Force Participation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, pages 1-41.
    2. Gurven, Michael & Hopfensitz, Astrid & Kaplan, Hillard & Stieglitz, Jonathan, 2016. "Why household inefficiency? An experimental approach to assess spousal resource distribution preferences in a subsistence population undergoing socioeconomic change," TSE Working Papers 16-670, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    3. Robert A. Pollak, 2017. "How Bargaining in Marriage drives Marriage Market Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 24000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. François Cochard & Hélène Couprie & Astrid Hopfensitz, 2016. "Do spouses cooperate? An experimental investigation," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 1-26, March.
    5. Edwards, Ryan D. & Roff, Jennifer, 2016. "What mom and dad’s match means for junior: Marital sorting and child outcomes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 43-56.
    6. Laurens Cherchye & Thomas Demuynck & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2014. "Household consumption when marriage is stable," IFS Working Papers W14/26, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    7. Laurens Cherchye & Thomas Demuynck & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2017. "Household Consumption When the Marriage Is Stable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1507-1534.
    8. Reis, Hugo, 2015. "Girls' Schooling Choices and Home Production: Evidence from Pakistan," IZA Discussion Papers 9562, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bilateral Matching; Household Time Allocation; Efficient Outcomes; Likelihood Analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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