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Family Bargaining and Welfare

  • Rubalcava, L.
  • Thomas, D.

Recent research on household behavior suggests that, ceteris paribus, a woman's "power" within a household influences consumption and time allocation choices. From an empirical point of view, a central stumbling block in this line of inquiry has been identification of sources of "power" that can plausibly be treated as exogenous. Aid to Families with Dependent Children, AFDC, was paid only to single women with children. The benefit level provides a natural fall-back for a low-income woman with children who is contemplating separation from her partner. As AFDC payments increase, separation will become more attractive and, the authors conjecture, the relative bargaining power of the woman in a household should also increase. If this is true, and if bargaining power does affect allocation decisions within the household, then the AFDC benefit level should affect household choices in intact families. This hypothesis is tested using the Panel Study of Income Data from 1968 through 1992.

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Paper provided by RAND - Labor and Population Program in its series Papers with number 00-10.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:randlp:00-10
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  1. Duncan Thomas, 1994. "Like Father, like Son; Like Mother, like Daughter: Parental Resources and Child Height," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 950-988.
  2. Ted Bergstrom, 1994. "A Survey of Theories of the Family," Labor and Demography 9401001, EconWPA, revised 10 Oct 1994.
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  4. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert A, 1993. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 988-1010, December.
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  7. 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).
  8. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S11-S26, Part II, .
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  13. Browning, M. & Bourguignon, F. & Chiappori, P.A. & Lechene, V., 1992. "Incomes and Outcomes: A structural Model of Intra-Household Allocation," DELTA Working Papers 92-23, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
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  15. Moffitt, Robert, 1992. "Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-61, March.
  16. Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
  17. Marjorie B. McElroy, 1990. "The Empirical Content of Nash-Bargained Household Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 559-583.
  18. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992. "Collective Labor Supply and Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 437-67, June.
  19. Shelly J. Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak & Terence J. Wales, 1997. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from the United Kingdom Child Benefit," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 463-480.
  20. Jonathan Gruber, 1996. "Cash Welfare as a Consumption Smoothing Mechanism for Single Mothers," NBER Working Papers 5738, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. 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.
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