Stereotypes upon abilities in domestic production and household behaviour
The collective model assumes that decisions taken inside the family are Pareto optimal. However, empirical studies cast doubts upon the efficiency assumption, especially on the production side of household decision making. In this paper, we present a model of household behavior including a stereotype about the ability of men and women in the production of domestic goods. At the beginning of couple formation, we assume that the distribution of abilities in domesticc of men and women is the same, but everybody believes that women are more able (the stereotype). One member of the couple is then chosen to make an investment in domestic production, which increases his/her productivity. Couples decide who will invest by maximizing the expected profit from domestic production, which depends on a signal and on the stereotype. Even though spouses aim at maximizing the household welfare, the resulting allocation is not Pareto efficient. This result leads to examine the role of public policies to restore the first best optimum, as well as equity.
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