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Marriage and Consumption

  • Laura Blow

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London)

  • Martin Browning

    (Department of Economics, University of Oxford)

  • Mette Ejrnæs

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

We examine theoretically and empirically consumption over the early part of the life-cycle. The main focus is on the transition from being single to living with someone else. Our theoretical model allows for publicness in consumption; uncertainty concerning marriage; differences between lifetime incomes for prospective partners and a marriage premium. We develop a two period model to bring out the main features of the impact of marriage on consumption and saving. We then develop a multi-period model that can be taken to the data on expenditures by singles and couples aged between 18 and 30. Our empirical work is based on individual based quasi-panels from UK expenditure survey data from 1978 to 2005. The model fits the data relatively well. We find that expenditure by couples leads to 20-40 % more consumption than the same expenditure split between two comparable singles.

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File URL: http://www.econ.ku.dk/cam/wp0910/2009-07.pdf/
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Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics in its series CAM Working Papers with number 2009-07.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuieca:2009_07
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Web page: http://www.econ.ku.dk/CAM/
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  1. Gregory D. Hess, 2001. "Marriage and consumption insurance: what's love got to do with it?," Working Paper 0104, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  2. Lupton, J. & Smith, J.P., 1999. "Marriage, Assets, and Savings," Papers 99-12, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  3. Martin Browning & Pierre-Andre Chiappori, 2006. "Estimating Consumption Economies of Scale, Adult Equivalence Scales, and Household Bargaining Power," Economics Series Working Papers 289, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Shintaro Yamaguchi & Claudia Ruiz & Maurizio Mazzocco, 2014. "Labor Supply, Wealth Dynamics and Marriage Decisions," 2014 Meeting Papers 210, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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