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Distributional effects in household models: separate spheres and income pooling

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  • Martin Browning

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Oxford)

  • Pierre-André Chiappori

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Columbia University)

  • Valérie Lechene

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

Abstract

We derive distributional effects for a non-cooperative alternative to the unitary model of household behaviour. We consider the Nash equilibria of a voluntary contributions to public goods game. Our main result is that, in general, the two partners either choose to contribute to di¤erent public goods or they contribute to at most one common good. The former case corresponds to the separate spheres case of Lundberg and Pollak (1993). The second outcome yields (local) income pooling. A household will be in different regimes depending on the distribution of income within the household. Any bargaining model with this non-cooperative case as a breakdown point will inherit the local income pooling. We conclude that targeting benefits such as child benefits to one household member may not always have an effect on outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Browning & Pierre-André Chiappori & Valérie Lechene, 2007. "Distributional effects in household models: separate spheres and income pooling," IFS Working Papers W07/03, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:07/03
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Warr, Peter G., 1983. "The private provision of a public good is independent of the distribution of income," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 207-211.
    2. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
    3. Lundberg, S.J. & Pollak, R.A. & Wales, T.J., 1994. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from U.K. Child Benefit," Working Papers 94-6, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
    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.
    5. Valerie Lechene & Ian Preston, 2005. "Household Nash Equilibrium with Voluntarily Contributed Public Goods," Economics Series Working Papers 226, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    6. Richard Blundell & Pierre-André Chiappori & Costas Meghir, 2005. "Collective Labor Supply with Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1277-1306, December.
    7. Kemp, Murray C., 1984. "A note of the theory of international transfers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 14(2-3), pages 259-262.
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    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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