Household Behavior and the Marriage Market

48 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2013

See all articles by Daniela Del Boca

Daniela Del Boca

University of Turin - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD)

Christopher J. Flinn

New York University -Leonard N. Stern School of Business - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

There is some controversy in the field of household economics regarding the efficiency of household decisions. We make the point that a flexible specification of spousal preferences and the household production technology precludes the possibility of using revealed preference data on household time allocations to determine the manner in which spouses interact: efficiently or inefficiently. Under strong, but standard, assumptions regarding marriage market equilibria, marital sorting patterns can be used essentially as “out of sample” information that allows us to assess whether household behavior is efficient or not. We develop a new likelihood-based metric to compare marriage market fits under the two alternative behavioral assumptions. We use a sample of households drawn from a recent wave of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, and find strong evidence supporting the view that household behavior is (constrained) efficient.

Keywords: bilateral matching, household time allocation, efficient outcomes, likelihood analysis

JEL Classification: D13, J12, J22

Suggested Citation

Del Boca, Daniela and Flinn, Christopher J., Household Behavior and the Marriage Market. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7681. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2345598

Daniela Del Boca (Contact Author)

University of Turin - Department of Economics ( email )

Via Po, 53
Torino, 10124
Italy

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD)

Turin, TO
Italy

Christopher J. Flinn

New York University -Leonard N. Stern School of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

269 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10003
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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