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Empirical Estimation Results of a Collective Household Time Allocation Model


  • van Klaveren, Chris

    () (Maastricht University)

  • van Praag, Bernard M. S.

    () (University of Amsterdam)

  • Maassen van den Brink, Henriette

    () (University of Amsterdam)


In this paper an empirical model is developed where the collective household model is used as a basic framework to describe the time allocation problem. The collective model views household behavior as the outcome of maximizing a household utility function which is a weighted sum of the utility functions of the male and the female. The empirical research that has been done is mainly focused on testing and refuting the unitary model. Moreover, in the bulk of time allocation literature the main accent still lies on the development of theory. The novelty of this paper is that we empirically estimate the two individual utility functions and the household power weight distribution, which is parameterized per household. The model is estimated on a sub-sample of the British Household Panel Survey, consisting of two-earner households. The empirical results suggest that: (1) Given that the weight distribution is wage dependent, preferences of males and females differ, which rejects the unitary model; (2) The power differences are mainly explained by differences in the ratio of the partners' hourly wages; (3) Although there are significant individual variations on average the power distribution in two-earner families is about even; (4) The male tends to be marginally more productive in performing household tasks than the female (5) The preference for total household production is influenced by family size for the female but not for the male (6) Both males and females have a backward bending labor supply curve.

Suggested Citation

  • van Klaveren, Chris & van Praag, Bernard M. S. & Maassen van den Brink, Henriette, 2006. "Empirical Estimation Results of a Collective Household Time Allocation Model," IZA Discussion Papers 2107, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2107

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sam Allgood, 2009. "The Collective Household, Household Production and Efficiency of Marginal Reforms," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(5), pages 749-771, October.
    2. Chris van Klaveren & Bernard M.S. van Praag & Henriette Maassen van den Brink, 2006. "A Collective Household Model of Time Allocation - A Comparison of Native Dutch and Immigrant Households in The Netherlands," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-052/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 22 Jun 2006.
    3. Chiappori, Pierre-André & Donni, Olivier, 2009. "Non-unitary Models of Household Behavior: A Survey of the Literature," IZA Discussion Papers 4603, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    intra-household; labor supply; collective household models; time allocation;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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