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Public-good valuation and intrafamily allocation

  • Strand, Jon


    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

I derive the marginal value of a public good in multiperson households, measured alternatively by one household member’s willingness to pay (WTP) for the good on behalf of the household, or by the sum of individual WTP values across family members. Households are assumed to allocate their resources using efficient Nash bargains over two goods, one private good for each member, and one common household good. We show that with no altruism among two family members, member 1’s WTP on behalf of the household is on average a correct representation of true aggregate household WTP for the public good, and is higher (lower) than this average when member 1 has a higher (lower) marginal value of the public good than member 2. Nonpaternalistic altruism makes each of the two members’ WTP on behalf of the household closer to the true aggregate WTP. With paternalistic altruism, attached to consumption of the public good, higher altruism raises aggregate WTP. Higher altruism on the part of both members then moves individual-based WTP closer to true aggregate WTP, while the opposite may occur when only one member is altruistic.

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Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 28/2002.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 18 Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2002_028
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
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  1. Carson, Richard T. & Hanemann, W. Michael, 2006. "Contingent Valuation," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 821-936 Elsevier.
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  4. Muthoo,Abhinay, 1999. "Bargaining Theory with Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521576475.
  5. Ted Bergstrom, 1994. "A Survey of Theories of the Family," Labor and Demography 9401001, EconWPA, revised 10 Oct 1994.
  6. Zhiqi Chen & Frances Woolley, 1999. "A Cournot-Nash Model of Family Decision Making," Carleton Economic Papers 99-13, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2001.
  7. Saku Aura, . "Does the balance of power within a family matter? The case of the Retirement Equity Act," Working Papers 202, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  8. Timothy J. Bartik, 2008. "Evaluating the Benefits of Non-marginal Reductions in Pollution Using Information on Defensive Expenditures," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: Joseph Herriges & Catherine L. Kling (ed.), Revealed Preference Approaches to Environmental Valuation, volume 0, pages 459-475 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  9. M. Browning & P. A. Chiappori, 1998. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations: A General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1241-1278, November.
  10. Jones-Lee, M W, 1992. "Paternalistic Altruism and the Value of Statistical Life," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(410), pages 80-90, January.
  11. Quiggin, John, 1992. "Risk, self-protection and ex ante economic value--some positive results," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 40-53, July.
  12. Carson, Richard T & Flores, Nicholas A, 2000. "Contingent Valuation: Controversies and Evidence," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt75k752s7, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  13. Anderson, K.S. & Baland, J-M., 2000. "The Economics of Roscas and Intra-Household Resource Allocation," Discussion Paper 2000-83, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  14. Jones-Lee, M W, 1991. " Altruism and the Value of Other People's Safety," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 213-19, April.
  15. 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.
  16. Shelly Lundberg & Robert Pollak, 2003. "Efficiency in Marriage," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 153-167, September.
  17. Siwan Anderson, 2000. "The Economics of Roscas and Intra-Household Resource Allocation," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1323, Econometric Society.
  18. Johansson, Per-Olov, 1994. "Altruism and the value of statistical life: Empirical implications," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 111-118, March.
  19. John Quiggin, 1998. "Individual and Household Willingness to Pay for Public Goods," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(1), pages 58-63.
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