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Confronting the Robinson Crusoe paradigm with household-size heterogeneity

Author

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  • Christos Koulovatianos
  • Carsten Schröder
  • Ulrich Schmidt

Abstract

Modern macroeconomics empirically addresses economy-wide incentives behind economic actions by using insights from the way a single representative household would behave. This analytical approach requires that incentives of the poor and the rich are strictly aligned. In empirical analysis a challenging complication is that consumer and income data are typically available at the household level, and individuals living in multimember households have the potential to share goods within the household. The analytical approach of modern macroeconomics would require that intra-household sharing is also strictly aligned across the rich and the poor. Here we have designed a survey method that allows the testing of this stringent property of intra-household sharing and find that it holds: once expenditures for basic needs are subtracted from disposable household income, household-size economies implied by the remainder household incomes are the same for the rich and the poor.
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Suggested Citation

  • Christos Koulovatianos & Carsten Schröder & Ulrich Schmidt, 2008. "Confronting the Robinson Crusoe paradigm with household-size heterogeneity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000002324, David K. Levine.
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:122247000000002324
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Donaldson, D. & Pendakur, K., 1999. "Equivalent-Income Functions and Income-Dependent Equivalence Scales," Discussion Papers dp99-8, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
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    5. Koulovatianos, Christos & Schroder, Carsten & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2005. "On the income dependence of equivalence scales," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 967-996, June.
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    7. Vermeulen, Frederic, 2002. " Collective Household Models: Principles and Main Results," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(4), pages 533-564, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carolina Achury & Sylwia Hubar & Christos Koulovatianos, 2012. "Saving Rates and Portfolio Choice with Subsistence Consumption," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(1), pages 108-126, January.
    2. Carolina Achury & Sylwia Hubar & Christos Koulovatianos, 2012. "Saving Rates and Portfolio Choice with Subsistence Consumption," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(1), pages 108-126, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C42 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Survey Methods
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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