Household Time Allocation and Modes of Behavior: A Theory of Sorts

36 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2005

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

Date Written: October 2005

Abstract

We develop a simple model of household time allocation decisions under strong functional form assumptions regarding preferences and household production technology. We argue that the specification is general when allowing for unrestrictive forms of population heterogeneity in the parameters characterizing these functions. Moreover, we argue that the model is not capable of distinguishing among elements of a class of behavioral rules, including Nash bargaining and Nash equilibrium, without restricting population heterogeneity in arbitrary ways. However, preferences over mates for any given set of male and female characteristics will be a function of the behavioral rules used in married households. Using data from the PSID on market hours and time spent in household production, we estimate the marginal distribution of male and female characteristics and our two alternative behavioral assumptions, and perform some formal and informal comparisons of the Nash bargaining and Nash equilibrium rules' ability to predict the marital sorts observed in the data. Given the simplicity of the model of household behavior and marriage market equilibrium, it is perhaps not surprising that neither model provides good predictions. Overall, the evidence is slightly more supportive of the hypothesis that households behave noncooperatively.

Keywords: bilateral matching, household time allocation, Nash bargaining

JEL Classification: D13, J12, J22

Suggested Citation

Del Boca, Daniela and Flinn, Christopher J., Household Time Allocation and Modes of Behavior: A Theory of Sorts (October 2005). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1821. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=841985

Daniela Del Boca

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 (Contact Author)

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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