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The economies of scale of living together and how they are shared - Estimates based on a collective household model

  • Aline Bütikofer
  • Michael Gerfin

How large are the economies of scale of living together? And how do partners share their resources? The first question is usually answered by equivalence scales. Traditional estimation and application of equivalence scales assumes equal sharing of income within the household. This paper uses data on financial satisfaction to simultaneously estimate the sharing rule and the economy of scale parameter in a collective household model. The estimates indicate substantial scale economies of living together, especially for couples who have lived together for some time. On average, wives receive almost 50% of household resources, but there is heterogeneity with respect to the wives contribution to household income and the duration of the relationship.

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Paper provided by Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft in its series Diskussionsschriften with number dp0903.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ube:dpvwib:dp0903
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  10. Melanie Lührmann & Jürgen Maurer, 2008. "Who wears the trousers? A semiparametric analysis of decision power in couples," MEA discussion paper series 08168, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
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  17. Arthur Lewbel & Krishna Pendakur, 2008. "Estimation of Collective Household Models With Engel Curves," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 694, Boston College Department of Economics.
  18. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," CESifo Working Paper Series 503, CESifo Group Munich.
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  21. Stengos, T. & Sun, Y. & Wang, D., 2003. "Estimates of Semiparametric Equivalence Scales," Working Papers 2003-7, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
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