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Two can live as cheaply as one... But three's a crowd

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  • Christopher R. Bollinger
  • Cheti Nicoletti
  • Stephen Pudney

Abstract

To measure poverty, incomes must be equivalized across households with different structures. In this paper, we use a very flexible ordered response model to analyze the relationship between income, demographic structure and subjective assessments of financial wellbeing drawn from the 1991-2008 British Household Panel Survey. Our results suggest the existence of large scale economies within marital/cohabiting couples, but substantial diseconomies from the addition of children or further adults. This pattern contrasts sharply with commonly-used equivalence scales, and is consistent with explanations in terms of the capital requirements associated with additions to the core couple.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:12/23
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Menno Pradhan & Martin Ravallion, 2000. "Measuring Poverty Using Qualitative Perceptions Of Consumption Adequacy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 462-471, August.
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    1. repec:uwp:jhriss:v:52:y:2017:i:2:p:351-373 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Alpaslan Akay & Olivier Bargain & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2017. "Home Sweet Home?: Macroeconomic Conditions in Home Countries and the Well-Being of Migrants," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 52(2), pages 351-373.
    3. Biewen, Martin & Juhasz, Andos, 2013. "A Goodness-of-Fit Approach to Estimating Equivalence Scales," IZA Discussion Papers 7209, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Equivalence scales; subjective wellbeing;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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