IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Efficient Intra-Household Allocations - A General Characterization and Empirical Tests


  • Martin Browning

    (Institute of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • P.A. Chiappori



The neo-classical theory of demand applies to individuals yet in empirical work it is usually taken as valid for households with many members. This paper explores what the theory of individuals implies for households with many members. This paper explores what the theory of individuals implies for households which have more than one member. We make minimal assumptions about how the individual members of the household resolve conflicts. All we assume is that however decisions are made, outcomes are efficient. We refer to this as the collective setting. We show that in the collective setting household demands must satisfy a symmetry and rank condition on the Slutsky matrix. We also present some further results on the effects on demands of variables that do nor modify preferences but that do affect how decisions are made. We apply our theory to a series of surveys of household expendityres from Canada. The tests of the usual symmetry conditions are rejected for two person households but not for one person households. We also show that income pooling is rejected for two person households. We then test for our collective setting conditions on the couples data. None of the collective setting restrictions are rejected. We conclde that the collective setting is a plausible and tractable next step to take in thje analysis of household behaviour.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Browning & P.A. Chiappori, 1996. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations - A General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Discussion Papers 96-10, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:9610

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. M. Browning & P. A. Chiappori, 1998. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations: A General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1241-1278, November.
    2. Browning, Martin & Francois Bourguignon & Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Valerie Lechene, 1994. "Income and Outcomes: A Structural Model of Intrahousehold Allocation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1067-1096, December.
    3. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
    4. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992. "Collective Labor Supply and Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 437-467, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:9610. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Hoffmann). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.