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Testing the Pareto Efficiency of Household Resource Allocations

  • Patricia Apps
  • Ray Rees

In a careful and thorough empirical study, Christopher Udry (1996) shows convincingly that, in a large sample of West African households, household resource allocations were not Pareto efficient. This paper argues that observation of the Pareto inefficiency of a household resource allocation does not however refute the hypothesis that it chooses this resource allocation as if it maximises some form of household welfare function possessing the Pareto property. To refute that hypothesis it is necessary to show that the observed allocation does not represent a second best optimum. For this it will be necessary to show that the estimated parameters of the model lie in a region of the parameter space for which the second best optimality of the allocation does not hold.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2008/wp-cesifo-2008-06/cesifo1_wp2322.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2322.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2322
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  1. Manser, Marilyn & Brown, Murray, 1980. "Marriage and Household Decision-Making: A Bargaining Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 31-44, February.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Ichino, Andrea & Karabarbounis, Loukas, 2007. "Gender Based Taxation and the Division of Family Chores," IZA Discussion Papers 3233, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 91-08, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  4. Apps, Patricia & Rees, Ray, 2007. "Cooperative Household Models," IZA Discussion Papers 3127, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1981. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of the Theory of Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 333-49, June.
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