Household economics

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Household economics covers the economic analysis of all decisions made by households. The microeconomic foundations of household economics were pioneered by the founders of the New Home Economics (NHE), Gary Becker and Jacob Mincer. All family economics is included in household economics and Becker's Treatise on the Family is therefore a major contribution to both fields. Topics covered include:

  • consumption and savings [1]
  • labor supply and allocation of time to household production and leisure [2]
  • child-related topics: fertility and parental investments in children's wellbeing
  • the demand for health (part of health economics)
  • intergenerational relations, including bequests and care of older relatives
  • household formation via cohabitation, marriage or independent living, including the study of mate selection
  • divorce and separation [3]
  • marriage-related transfer payments such as brideprice, dowry, alimony, and child support
  • financial relations among partners and spouses
  • Anti-poverty transfers and labor supply in low-income families [4]
  • intra-household risk sharing, crowding out of household insurance by public insurance policies [5]
  • macroeconomic applications, including studies related to economic development.

The methods of analyses include market analyses, cost–benefit analyses, experimental analysis, and intra-household bargaining theories.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mazzocco, M. (2004). "Saving, Risk-sharing and Preferences for Risk", American Economic Review, Vol. 94, pp. 1169-1182.
  2. ^ Chiappori, P.A., Costa-Dias, M. and Meghir, C. (2015). "The Marriage Market, Labor Supply and Education Choice", Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper No. 1994.
  3. ^ Dickert-Conlin, S. (1999). "Taxes and Transfers: Their Effects on the Decision to End a Marriage", Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 73, pp. 217-240.
  4. ^ Chan, M. K. (2013). "A Dynamic Model of Welfare Reform," Econometrica, Vol. 81, pp. 941-1001.
  5. ^ Ortigueira, S. and N. Siassi (2013). "How Important is Intra-household Risk Sharing for Savings and Labor Supply", Journal of Monetary Economics, Vol. 60, pp. 650-666.