A Survey of Theories of the Family
The first section of this review explores the theory of household technology and the associated possibilities for distributiing utility among household members. The second section concerns decision theory within the household. This discussion draws on standard consumer decision theory. The third section of this paper deals with an equilbrium in which families are formed by persons voluntarily choosing mates. This theory is analogous to ``Tiebout theory'' in urban economics, where the objects of choice include not only the amount of public goods supplied in each city, but which individuals live in each place. An aspect of family life that has fewer parallels in the economics of market economies is intrafamilial love and altruism. The final section of this paper reviews a growing theoretical literature on love, altruism and the family.
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