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Marital Matching, Economies of Scale and Intrahousehold Allocations

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  • Laurens Cherchye
  • Bram De Rock
  • Khushboo Surana
  • Frederic Vermeulen

Abstract

We propose a novel structural method to empirically identify economies of scale in household consumption. We assume collective households with consumption technologies that define the public and private nature of expenditures through Barten scales. Our method recovers the technology by solely exploiting preference information revealed by households consumption behavior. The method imposes non parametric structure on household decision processes, accounts for unobserved preference heterogeneity across individuals in different households, and requires only a single consumption observation per household. Our main identifying assumption is that the observed marital matchings are stable. We apply our method to data drawn from the US Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), for which we assume that similar households (in terms of observed characteristics like age or region of residence) operate on the same marriage market and are characterized by a homogeneous consumption technology. This application shows that our method yields informative results on the nature of scale economies and intrahousehold allocation patterns. In addition, it allows us to define individual compensation schemes required to preserve the same consumption level in case of marriage dissolution or spousal death.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Khushboo Surana & Frederic Vermeulen, 2016. "Marital Matching, Economies of Scale and Intrahousehold Allocations," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2016-34, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/237346
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Browning & Laurens Cherchye & Thomas Demuynck & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2021. "Stable marriage, household consumption and unobserved match quality," Working Papers of Department of Economics, Leuven 679647, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), Department of Economics, Leuven.
    2. Pawel Dziewulski, 2021. "A comprehensive revealed preference approach to approximate utility maximisation," Working Paper Series 0621, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    3. Browning, Martin & Cherchye, Laurens & De Rock, Bram & Demuynck, Thomas & Vermeulen, Frederic, 2021. "Stable marriage, household consumption and unobserved match quality," CEPR Discussion Papers 16483, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    marriage market; intrahousehold allocation; economies of scale; revealed preference; PSID;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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