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The American Family and Family Economics

  • Lundberg, Shelly

    ()

    (University of California, Santa Barbara)

  • Pollak, Robert

    ()

    (Washington University, St. Louis)

The twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of Gary Becker’s path-breaking Treatise on the Family provides an occasion to reexamine both the American family and family economics. We begin by discussing how families have changed in recent decades: the separation of sex, marriage, and childbearing; fewer children and smaller households; converging work and education patterns for men and women; class divergence in partnering and parenting strategies; and the replacement of what had been family functions and home production by government programs and market transactions. After discussing recent work in family economics that attempts to explain these changes, we point out some challenging areas for further analysis, and highlight issues of commitment in two primary family relationships: those between men and women, and those between parents and children. We conclude by discussing the effectiveness of policies to target benefits to certain family members (e.g., children) or to promote marriage and fertility.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp2715.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2715.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2007, 21 (2), 3-26
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2715
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  4. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2005. "Welfare Reform and Health," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(2).
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  7. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
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  9. Dan A. Black & Seth G. Sanders & Lowell J. Taylor, 2007. "The Economics of Lesbian and Gay Families," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 53-70, Spring.
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  16. Liliana E. Pezzin & Robert A. Pollak & Barbara S. Schone, 2007. "Efficiency in Family Bargaining: Living Arrangements and Caregiving Decisions of Adult Children and Disabled Elderly Parents," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 53(1), pages 69-96, March.
  17. Claudia Goldin, 2006. "The Quiet Revolution that Transformed Women's Employment, Education, and Family," NBER Working Papers 11953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  25. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes & Madeline Zavodny, 2004. "The Impact of Welfare Reform on Marriage and Divorce," Working Papers 110, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
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  29. Donna Ginther & Robert Pollak, 2004. "Family structure and children’s educational outcomes: Blended families, stylized facts, and descriptive regressions," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 671-696, November.
  30. Theodore C. Bergstrom, 2007. "Some Evolutionary Economics of Family Partnerships," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 482-486, May.
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  42. Liliana Pezzin & Barbara Schone, 1999. "Parental marital disruption and intergenerational transfers: An analysis of lone elderly parents and their children," Demography, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 287-297, August.
  43. Shelly J. Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak & Terence J. Wales, 1997. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from the United Kingdom Child Benefit," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 463-480.
  44. Ellwood, David T. & Jencks, Christopher, 2004. "The Spread of Single-Parent Families in the United States since 1960," Working Paper Series rwp04-008, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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