Family Economics Writ Large

Journal of Economics Literature, Forthcoming

77 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2016 Last revised: 19 Jan 2017

See all articles by Jeremy Greenwood

Jeremy Greenwood

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Nezih Guner

ICREA-MOVE; Autonomous University of Barcelona; Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE)

Guillaume Vandenbroucke

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 30, 2016


Powerful currents have reshaped the structure of families over the last century. There has been (i) a dramatic drop in fertility and greater parental investment in children; (ii) a rise in married female labor-force participation; (iii) a decline in marriage and a rise in divorce; (iv) a higher degree of positive assortative mating; (v) more children living with a single mother; (vi) shifts in social norms governing premarital sex and married women's roles in the labor market. Macroeconomic models explaining these aggregate trends are surveyed. The relentless flow of technological progress and its role in shaping family life are stressed.

Keywords: Assortative mating, family economics, female labor supply, fertility, household income inequality, household production, human capital, macroeconomics, marriage and divorce, quality-quantity tradeoff, premarital sex, single mothers, social change, survey, technological progress, women's rights

JEL Classification: D10, E20, J10, O10, O40, Z10

Suggested Citation

Greenwood, Jeremy and Guner, Nezih and Vandenbroucke, Guillaume, Family Economics Writ Large (December 30, 2016). Journal of Economics Literature, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Jeremy Greenwood

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science
133 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States
215-898-1505 (Phone)


National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Nezih Guner

ICREA-MOVE ( email )

Campus de Bellaterra-UAB Edifici B (s/n)
Cerdanyola del Vallès
, Barcelona 08193

Autonomous University of Barcelona ( email )

Plaça Cívica
Cerdañola del Valles
Barcelona, Barcelona 08193

Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE) ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, Barcelona 08005

Guillaume Vandenbroucke (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis ( email )

411 Locust St
Saint Louis, MO 63011
United States
+1 314 444 8717 (Phone)


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