IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Economic well-being and poverty among the elderly: an analysis based on a collective consumption model

  • Laurens Cherchye
  • Bram De Rock
  • Frederic Vermeulen

We apply the collective consumption model of Browning et al. (2010) to analyse economic well-being and poverty among the elderly. The model focuses on individual preferences, a consumption technology that captures the economies of scale of living in a couple, and a sharing rule that governs the intra-household allocation of resources. The model is applied to a time series of Dutch consumption expenditure surveys. Our empirical results indicate substantial economies of scale and a wife's share that is increasing in total expenditures. We further calculated two sets of poverty rates: one based on the collective consumption model and one based on the traditional approach with a standard equivalence scale. Poverty among widowers is underestimated by the traditional approach. The same is true for women (men) in elderly couples for the first (later) time periods in our analysis. Finally, we analysed the impact of becoming a widow(er). Based on cross-sectional evidence, we find that the drop in material well-being following the husband's death is rather substantial for women. For men, the picture is reversed. © 2012 Elsevier B.V..

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: Elsevier_113795
Download Restriction: only accessible to specific communities

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/131702.

in new window

Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in: European economic review (2012) v.56 n° 6,p.985–1000
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/131702
Note: SCOPUS: ar.j
Contact details of provider: Postal: CP135, 50, avenue F.D. Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Fortin, Bernard & Lacroix, Guy, 1997. "A Test of the Unitary and Collective Models of Household Labour Supply," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 933-55, July.
  2. Frederic VERMEULEN, 2000. "Collective Household Models: Principles and Main Results," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces0028, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  3. Smeeding, Timothy M & Sullivan, Dennis H, 1998. "Generations and the Distribution of Economic Well-Being: A Cross-National View," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 254-58, May.
  4. Hurd, Michael D, 1990. "Research on the Elderly: Economic Status, Retirement, and Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 565-637, June.
  5. repec:inr:wpaper:249982 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2003. "Measuring the Well-Being of the Poor Using Income and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 9760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. P.-A. Chiappori & I. Ekeland, 2009. "The Microeconomics of Efficient Group Behavior: Identification," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 763-799, 05.
  8. Cherchye, L.J.H. & de Rock, B. & Vermeulen, F.M.P., 2009. "Opening the black box of intra-household decision-making : Theory and non-parametric empirical tests of general collective consumption models," Other publications TiSEM bc6d0cf7-c686-40a4-84f4-9, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  9. repec:oup:restud:v:74:y:2007:i:3:p:857-895 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Slesnick, Daniel T, 1993. "Gaining Ground: Poverty in the Postwar United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-38, February.
  11. 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 1067-96, December.
  12. Shannon Seitz & Jeremy Lise, 2005. "Consumption Inequality and Intra-Household Allocations," 2005 Meeting Papers 448, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Del Boca, Daniela & Flinn, Christopher, 2012. "Endogenous household interaction," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(1), pages 49-65.
  14. repec:inr:wpaper:156380 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Lewbel, Arthur & Pendakur, Krishna, 2008. "Estimation of collective household models with Engel curves," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 147(2), pages 350-358, December.
  16. Cherchye, Laurens & Vermeulen, Frederic, 2006. "Nonparametric Analysis of Household Labor Supply: Goodness-of-Fit and Power of the Unitary and the Collective Model," IZA Discussion Papers 2004, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Richard Blundell & Jean-Marc Robin, 1999. "Estimation in large and disaggregated demand systems: an estimator for conditionally linear systems," Post-Print hal-00359353, HAL.
  18. Arthur Lewbel, 2002. "Calculating Compensation in Cases of Wrongful Death," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 523, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 07 Jun 2002.
  19. Vermeulen, F.M.P. & Bargain, O. & Beblo, M. & Beninger, D. & Blundell, R. & Carrasco, R. & Chiuri, M-C. & Laisney, F. & Lechene, V. & Moreau, N. & Myck, M. & Ruiz-castillo, J., 2006. "Collective models of labor supply with nonconvex budget sets and nonparticipation : A calibration approach," Other publications TiSEM 8dec6b88-3dce-460f-ab9b-2, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  20. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2007. "The Collective Model of Household Consumption: A Nonparametric Characterization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 553-574, 03.
  21. Pierre-André Chiappori & Richard Blundell & Costas Meghir, 2002. "Collective labour supply with children," IFS Working Papers W02/08, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  22. Vermeulen, F.M.P., 2006. "A collective model for female labour supply with nonparticipation and taxation," Other publications TiSEM 1cddc8dc-005a-42aa-af35-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  23. 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.
  24. Martin Browning & Pierre-André Chiappori & Arthur Lewbel, . "Estimating Consumption Economies of Scale, Adult Equivalence Scales, and Household Bargaining Power," CAM Working Papers 2003-12, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics, revised Dec 2003.
  25. Kathleen McGarry & Robert F. Schoeni, 2005. "Widow(er) Poverty and Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenditures Near the End of Life," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 60(3), pages S160-S168.
  26. Lundberg, S.J. & Pollak, R.A. & Wales, T.J., 1994. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from U.K. Child Benefit," Working Papers 94-6, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  27. Browning, Martin & Meghir, Costas, 1991. "The Effects of Male and Female Labor Supply on Commodity Demands," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 925-51, July.
  28. Michael Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2006. "Economic Well-Being at Older Ages: Income- and Consumption-Based Poverty Measures in the HRS," Working Papers 410, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  29. Martin Browning & Pierre-Andre Chiappori, 1994. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations: a General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Department of Economics Working Papers 1994-02, McMaster University.
  30. Michaud, Pierre-Carl & Vermeulen, Frederic, 2011. "A collective labor supply model with complementarities in leisure: Identification and estimation by means of panel data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 159-167, April.
  31. Chiappori, P.A., 1989. "Collective Labour Supply and Welfare," DELTA Working Papers 89-07, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  32. 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.
  33. Aline Bütikofer & Arthur Lewbel & Shannon Seitz, 2010. "Health and Retirement Effects in a Collective Consumption Model of Older Households," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 767, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 15 Jan 2011.
  34. Coder, John & Rainwater, Lee & Smeeding, Timothy M, 1989. "Inequality among Children and Elderly in Ten Modern Nations: The United States in an International Context," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 320-24, May.
  35. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
  36. Karen Holden & Richard Burkhauser & Daniel Feaster, 1988. "The timing of falls into poverty after retirement and widowhood," Demography, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 405-414, August.
  37. François Bourguignon & Martin Browning & Pierre-André Chiappori, 2006. "Efficient Intra-household Allocations and Distribution Factors: Implications and Identification," CAM Working Papers 2006-02, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  38. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1980. "An Almost Ideal Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 312-26, June.
  39. Gary V. Engelhardt & Jonathan Gruber, 2004. "Social Security and the Evolution of Elderly Poverty," NBER Working Papers 10466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Shintaro Yamaguchi & Claudia Ruiz & Maurizio Mazzocco, 2014. "Labor Supply, Wealth Dynamics and Marriage Decisions," 2014 Meeting Papers 210, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  41. Angus S. Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1998. "Measuring Poverty among the Elderly," NBER Chapters, in: Inquiries in the Economics of Aging, pages 169-204 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. Michael Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2006. "Consumption and Economic Well-Being at Older Ages: Income- and Consumption-Based Poverty Measures in the HRS," Working Papers wp110, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/131702. 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: (Benoit Pauwels)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.