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Marriage Market, Divorce Legislation and Household Labor Supply

  • Pierre-André Chiappori
  • Bernard Fortin
  • Guy Lacroix

This paper provides a theoretical framework for analyzing the impact of the marriage market and divorce legislation on household labor supply. In our approach, the sex ratio on the marragie market and the rules governing divorce are examples of distribution factors. The latter are defined as variables that affect the household members' bargaining position but neither preferences nor the joint budget set. We extend the collective labor supply model developped by Chiappori (JPE, 1992) to allow for distribution factors. We show that our model imposes new restrictions on the labor supply functions and eases the identification of individual preferences and the intra-household decision process. The model is estimated using PSID data for the year 1988. Our results do not reject the restrictions imposed by the model. Also, the sex ratio and divorce laws deemed favorable to women are found to impact the labor supply behavior and the decision process in the directions predicted by the theory and to have sizeable effects. Cet article présente un cadre théorique visant à analyser l'impact du marché du mariage et des règles de divorce sur l'offre de travail du ménage. Dans notre approche, l'importance relative des hommes sur le marché du mariage ainsi que les lois régissant le divorce sont des exemples de facteurs de distribution. Ceux-ci sont définis comme étant des variables qui influencent le pouvoir de négociation des conjoints0501s n'ont pas d'effet sur les préférences individuelles ni sur l'ensemble de consommation du ménage. Nous généralisons le modèle d'offre de travail collectif de Chiappori (JPE, 1992) de façon à tenir compte des facteurs de distribution. Nous montrons que notre modèle impose de nouvelles restrictions sur les fonctions d'offre de travail des conjoints et facilite l'identification des préférences individuelles ainsi que le processus de décision intra-familial. Le modèle est estimé par la méthode des moments généralisés à l'aide des données du PSID pour 1988. Nos résultats ne rejettent pas les restrictions imposées par notre approche. De plus, l'importance relative des hommes de même que les règles de divorce jugées favorables aux femmes influencent les comportements d'offre de travail et le processus de décision dans les directions prédites par la théorie et jouent un rôle important dans les choix du ménage.

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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2001s-16.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2001s-16
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  1. Thomas Mroz, . "The Sensitivity of an Empirical Model of Married Women's Hours of Work to Economic and Statistical Assumptions," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 84-8, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  2. Luis Rubalcava & Duncan Thomas, 2000. "Family Bargaining and Welfare," Working Papers 00-10, RAND Corporation.
  3. Ellman, Ira Mark & Lohr, Sharon L., 1998. "Dissolving the relationship between divorce laws and divorce rates," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 341-359, September.
  4. 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.
  5. Browning, M. & Chiappori, P.A., 1994. "Efficient Intra-Household allocations: A General Characterization and Empirical Tests," DELTA Working Papers 94-16, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  6. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan & Douglas Miller, 2003. "Public Policy and Extended Families: Evidence from Pensions in South Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(1), pages 27-50, June.
  7. Peters, H Elizabeth, 1986. "Marriage and Divorce: Informational Constraints and Private Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 437-54, June.
  8. Parkman, Allen M, 1992. "Unilateral Divorce and the Labor-Force Participation Rate of Married Women, Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 671-78, June.
  9. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old Age Pension and Intra-household Allocation in South Africa," NBER Working Papers 8061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Leora Friedberg, 1998. "Did Unilateral Divorce Raise Divorce Rates? Evidence from Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 6398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Richard Blundell & Ian Walker, 1986. "A Life-Cycle Consistent Empirical Model of Family Labour Supply Using Cross-Section Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(4), pages 539-558.
  12. Fortin, Bernard & Lacroix, Guy, 1997. "A Test of the Unitary and Collective Models of Household Labour Supply," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 933-55, July.
  13. Pierre-André Chiappori & Richard Blundell & Costas Meghir, 2002. "Collective labour supply with children," IFS Working Papers W02/08, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  14. 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.
  15. Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
  16. Lundberg, Shelly J, 1988. "Labor Supply of Husbands and Wives: A Simultaneous Equations Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 224-35, May.
  17. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992. "Collective Labor Supply and Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 437-67, June.
  18. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1.
  19. Udry, Christopher, 1996. "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1010-46, October.
  20. Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Working Papers 91-08, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  21. Josh Angrist, 2000. "Consequences of Imbalanced Sex Ratios: Evidence from America's Second Generation," NBER Working Papers 8042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert A, 1994. "Noncooperative Bargaining Models of Marriage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 132-37, May.
  23. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
  24. Gray, Jeffrey S, 1998. "Divorce-Law Changes, Household Bargaining, and Married Women's Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 628-42, June.
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