Are Children Decision-Makers within the Household?

30 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2008

See all articles by Anyck Dauphin

Anyck Dauphin

Université du Quebec en Outaouais (UQO)

AbdelRahmen El Lahga

Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Tunisia)

Bernard Fortin

Université Laval - Département d'Économique; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Guy Lacroix

Université Laval - Département d'Économique; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Abstract

Children are seldom accounted for in household behavioural models. They are usually assumed to have neither the capacity nor the power to influence the household decision process. The literature on collective models has so far incorporated children through the "caring preferences" of their parents or has treated them as household public goods [Bourguignon (1999); Blundell et al. (2005)]. This paper seeks to determine whether children of a certain age are decision-makers. We focus on the decision-making process within households composed of two adults and one child of at least 16 years of age. We first summarize the main restrictions that have been proposed to test the collective model in the context of multiple decision-makers [Chiappori and Ekeland (2006)]. We also show how a minimal number of decision-makers can be inferred from parametric constraints. Second, we apply these tests on data drawn from a series of U.K. Family Expenditure Surveys. Our results show clear evidence that it may be incorrect to assume that daughters and children aged between 16 and 21 are not full members influencing the household decision-making process.

Keywords: intra-household allocation, collective household models, children, demand analysis, Pareto efficiency, rank tests

JEL Classification: D11, D12, D79, J13

Suggested Citation

Dauphin, Anyck and El Lahga, AbdelRahmen and Fortin, Bernard and Lacroix, Guy, Are Children Decision-Makers within the Household?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 3728. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1278929 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x

Anyck Dauphin (Contact Author)

Université du Quebec en Outaouais (UQO) ( email )

Case postale 1250
succursale Hull
Gatineau, Québec J8X 3X7
Canada

AbdelRahmen El Lahga

Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Tunisia) ( email )

45 Rue de la Liberte, Cite Bouchoucha
Bardo, Tunis 2000
Tunisia

Bernard Fortin

Université Laval - Département d'Économique ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Germany

Guy Lacroix

Université Laval - Département d'Économique ( email )

2325 Rue de l'Université
Ste-Foy, Quebec G1K 7P4 G1K 7P4
Canada
418-656-2024 (Phone)
418-656-7798 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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