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The measurement of child costs : a Rothbarth-type method consistent with scale economies

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  • Olivier Bargain
  • Olivier Donni

Abstract

We propose a new methodology to estimate the share of household income accruing to children (i.e., the cost of children). Following the principle of the Rothbarth approach, the identi?cation of the children's share requires the observation of at least one adult-speci?c good. However, our method differs from this traditional approach in that it allows measuring economies of scale in the household and indifference scales in Lewbel (2003)'s sense. We illustrate the method with an application on the French Household Budget Survey.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Bargain & Olivier Donni, 2010. "The measurement of child costs : a Rothbarth-type method consistent with scale economies," Working Papers 201001, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201001
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/2632
    File Function: First version, 2010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lewbel, Arthur, 1991. "Cost of characteristics indices and household equivalence scales," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 1277-1293, August.
    2. Tsakloglou, Panos, 1991. "Estimation and Comparison of Two Simple Models of Equivalence Scales for the Cost of Children," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 343-357, March.
    3. Lazear, Edward P. & Michael, Robert T., 1988. "Allocation of Income within the Household," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226469669, June.
    4. Olivier Bargain & Olivier Donni & Monnet Gbakou, 2010. "The Measurement of Child Costs: Evidence from Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 41(1), pages 1-20.
    5. Smith, Richard J & Blundell, Richard W, 1986. "An Exogeneity Test for a Simultaneous Equation Tobit Model with an Application to Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 679-685, May.
    6. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1998. "Economies of Scale, Household Size, and the Demand for Food," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 897-930, October.
    7. FranÚois Bourguignon, 1999. "The cost of children: May the collective approach to household behavior help?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(4), pages 503-521.
    8. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1986. "On Measuring Child Costs: With Applications to Poor Countries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 720-744, August.
    9. Olivier Bargain & Olivier Donni, 2012. "Targeting and child poverty," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 39(4), pages 783-808, October.
    10. Richard Blundell & Jean-Marc Robin, 2000. "Latent Separability: Grouping Goods without Weak Separability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(1), pages 53-84, January.
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    12. Gronau, Reuben, 1991. "The Intrafamily Allocation of Goods--How to Separate the Adult from the Child," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(3), pages 207-235, July.
    13. Nelson, Julie A, 1988. "Household Economies of Scale in Consumption: Theory and Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1301-1314, November.
    14. Blundell, Richard & Robin, Jean Marc, 1999. "Estimation in Large and Disaggregated Demand Systems: An Estimator for Conditionally Linear Systems," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(3), pages 209-232, May-June.
    15. Pollak, Robert A & Wales, Terence J, 1979. "Welfare Comparisons and Equivalence Scales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 216-221, May.
    16. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Arthur Lewbel, 1997. "Quadratic Engel Curves And Consumer Demand," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 527-539, November.
    17. Bernarda Zamora, 2011. "Does female participation affect the sharing rule?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 47-83, January.
    18. Lewbel, Arthur, 2003. "Calculating compensation in cases of wrongful death," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 115-128, March.
    19. Lewbel, Arthur & Pendakur, Krishna, 2008. "Estimation of collective household models with Engel curves," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 147(2), pages 350-358, December.
    20. Olivier Donni, 2009. "A Simple Approach to Investigate Intrahousehold Allocation of Private and Public Goods," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 617-628, August.
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    23. Deaton, Angus S & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier & Thomas, Duncan, 1989. "The Influence of Household Composition on Household Expenditure Patterns: Theory and Spanish Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 179-200, February.
    24. Lewbel, Arthur, 1989. "Household equivalence scales and welfare comparisons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 377-391, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Arthur Lewbel & Frederic Vermeulen, 2015. "Sharing Rule Identification for General Collective Consumption Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83(5), pages 2001-2041, September.
    2. Bargain, Olivier & Donni, Olivier & Kwenda, Prudence, 2011. "Intrahousehold Distribution and Child Poverty: Theory and Evidence from Côte d’Ivoire," IZA Discussion Papers 6029, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Christopher R. Bollinger & Cheti Nicoletti & Stephen Pudney, 2012. "Two can live as cheaply as one... But three's a crowd," Discussion Papers 12/23, Department of Economics, University of York.
    4. Olivier Bargain & Olivier Donni & Monnet Gbakou, 2010. "The Measurement of Child Costs: Evidence from Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 41(1), pages 1-20.
    5. HORI Masahiro, 2011. "The expenditure on children in Japan," ESRI Discussion paper series 279, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumer demand; Collective model; Rothbarth Method; Cost of children; Scale economies; Equivalence scales; Indifference scales; Home economics--Accounting; Child rearing--Economic aspects--Ireland; Consumption (Economics);

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • C30 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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