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Modes of Spousal Interaction and the Labor Market Environment

  • Del Boca, Daniela

    ()

    (University of Turin)

  • Flinn, Christopher

    ()

    (New York University)

We formulate a model of household behavior in which cooperation is costly and in which these costs vary across households. Some households rationally decide to behave noncooperatively, which in our context is an efficient outcome. An intriguing feature of the model is that, while the welfare of the spouses is continuous in the state variables, labor supply decisions are not. Small changes in state variables may result in large changes in labor supplies when the household switches its mode of behavior. We estimate the model using a nationally representative sample of Italian households and find that the costly cooperation model significantly outperforms a noncooperative model. This suggests the possibility of attaining large gains in aggregate labor supply by adopting policies which promote cooperative household behavior.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2005.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2005
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  1. Michael J. Brien & Lee A. Lillard & Steven Stern, 2006. "Cohabitation, Marriage, And Divorce In A Model Of Match Quality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(2), pages 451-494, 05.
  2. Blundell, Richard William & Chiappori, Pierre-André & Magnac, Thierry & Meghir, Costas, 2005. "Collective Labour Supply: Heterogeneity and Non-Participation," CEPR Discussion Papers 5287, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 91-08, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  4. Cogan, John F, 1981. "Fixed Costs and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 945-63, June.
  5. Fortin, B. & Lacroix, G., 1993. "A Test of the Neoclassical and Collective Models of Household Labour Supply," Papers 9335, Laval - Recherche en Politique Economique.
  6. Manser, Marilyn & Brown, Murray, 1980. "Marriage and Household Decision-Making: A Bargaining Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 31-44, February.
  7. Bourguignon, Francois & Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992. "Collective models of household behavior : An introduction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 355-364, April.
  8. Flinn, Christopher J, 2000. "Modes of Interaction between Divorced Parents," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(3), pages 545-78, August.
  9. Peter Kooreman & Arie Kapteyn, 1990. "On the Empirical Implementation of Some Game Theoretic Models of Household Labor Supply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 584-598.
  10. 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.
  11. McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1990. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Reply," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(1), pages 237-42, February.
  12. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
  13. Heckman, James J, 1974. "Shadow Prices, Market Wages, and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(4), pages 679-94, July.
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