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On Private Incentives to Acquire Household Production Skills


  • Vagstad, S.


In non-cooperative models of the family, improved productivity in contribution to a family good typically implies that, in equilibrium, one contributes more to the public good, while one's spouse contributes less. Thus, improves contribution productivity has a negative strategic effect on one's utility. We show that this strategic effect tends to be stronger the lower is one's initial contribution productivity. Therefore, the most productive has the strongest incentives to improve his or her productivity, widening any initial productivity differences. Similar results are also obtained in a cooperative bargaining model with non-cooperation as the threat point.

Suggested Citation

  • Vagstad, S., 1999. "On Private Incentives to Acquire Household Production Skills," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 1499, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:bereco:1499

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bruce, Neil & Waldman, Michael, 1991. "Transfers in Kind: Why They Can Be Efficient and Nonpaternalistic," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1345-1351, December.
    2. Xavier Freixas & Roger Guesnerie & Jean Tirole, 1985. "Planning under Incomplete Information and the Ratchet Effect," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(2), pages 173-191.
    3. Joan R. Rodgers & John L. Rodgers, 1993. "Chronic Poverty in the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(1), pages 25-54.
    4. Gibson, John, 2001. "Measuring chronic poverty without a panel," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 243-266, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthew J. Baker & Joyce P. Jacobsen, 2007. "Marriage, Specialization, and the Gender Division of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 763-793.
    2. Auspurg, Katrin & Iacovou, Maria & Nicoletti, Cheti, 2014. "Housework Share between Partners: Experimental Evidence on Gender Identity," IZA Discussion Papers 8569, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Matthias Wrede, 2003. "The Income Splitting Method: Is it Good for Both Marriage Partners?," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4(2), pages 203-216, May.
    4. Lommerud, K.E. & Vagstad, S., 2000. "Mommy Tracks and Public Policy: On Self-Fulfilling Prophecies and Gender Gaps in Promotion," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 0600, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
    5. Helmut Rainer, 2008. "Gender discrimination and efficiency in marriage: the bargaining family under scrutiny," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(2), pages 305-329, April.
    6. repec:kap:jfamec:v:38:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10834-016-9507-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Raphaela Hyee & Julio R. Robledo, "undated". "Specialization in the bargaining family," Discussion Papers 10/06, University of Nottingham, School of Economics.
    8. Keisuke Kawata & Mizuki Komura, 2015. "The Gender Division of Labor: A Joint Marriage and Job Search Model," IDEC DP2 Series 5-1, Hiroshima University, Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation (IDEC).
    9. Miriam Beblo & Julio Robledo, 2008. "The wage gap and the leisure gap for double-earner couples," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(2), pages 281-304, April.
    10. Andaluz, Joaquín & Marcén, Miriam & Molina, José Alberto, 2008. "Dynamics of Intrahousehold Bargaining," IZA Discussion Papers 3757, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Lommerud, Kjell Erik & Straume, Odd Rune & Vagstad, Steinar, 2015. "Mommy tracks and public policy: On self-fulfilling prophecies and gender gaps in hiring and promotion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 540-554.
    12. Lundberg, Shelly, 2005. "The Division of Labor by New Parents: Does Child Gender Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 1787, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Mizuki Komura, 2013. "Fertility and endogenous gender bargaining power," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(3), pages 943-961, July.
    14. You, Jing & Yi, Xuejie & Chen, Meng, 2016. "Love, Life, and “Leftover Ladies” in Urban China," MPRA Paper 70494, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item



    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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