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A Survey of Theories of the Family


  • Ted Bergstrom

    () (University of Michigan)


The first section of this review explores the theory of household technology and the associated possibilities for distributiing utility among household members. The second section concerns decision theory within the household. This discussion draws on standard consumer decision theory. The third section of this paper deals with an equilbrium in which families are formed by persons voluntarily choosing mates. This theory is analogous to ``Tiebout theory'' in urban economics, where the objects of choice include not only the amount of public goods supplied in each city, but which individuals live in each place. An aspect of family life that has fewer parallels in the economics of market economies is intrafamilial love and altruism. The final section of this paper reviews a growing theoretical literature on love, altruism and the family.

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  • Ted Bergstrom, 1995. "A Survey of Theories of the Family," Papers _027, University of Michigan, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:michec:_027 Note: application/postscript file submitted via ftp in compressed format.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joseph Chamie & Samar Nsuly, 1981. "Sex differences in remarriage and spouse selection," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 18(3), pages 335-348, August.
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    JEL classification:

    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General


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