Household economics

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Household economics covers the economic analysis of all decisions made by households. Topics covered include:

 *child-related topics: fertility and parental investments in children's wellbeing
 *household formation via cohabitation, marriage or independent living, including the study of mate selection
 *divorce and separation [1]
 *marriage-related transfer payments such as brideprice, dowry, alimony, and child support
 *financial relations among partners and spouses

Household economists are interested in analyzing the effects of policies. For instance:

  • Anti-poverty transfers and labor supply in low-income families [5]
  • intra-household risk sharing, crowding out of household insurance by public insurance policies [6]

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

History Even though Malthus and some other classical economists wrote on fertility and other household decisions, since the beginning of the 20th Century most economists have tended to be interested in business and monetary dimensions of the economy more than in household behavior. The study of consumption and household production was marginalized from mainstream economics and left to economists affiliated with home economics departments such as Margaret Reid. The microeconomic foundations of household economics were developed by Gary Becker and Jacob Mincer while they were both running the labor workshop at Columbia University. Their contributions have been called the New Home Economics (NHE). Gary Becker's Treatise on the Family is a major contribution to family economics and other aspects of household economics.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Mazzocco, M. (2004). "Saving, Risk-sharing and Preferences for Risk", American Economic Review, Vol. 94, pp. 1169-1182.
  3. ^ Grossbard, S. (2015). The Marriage Motive. Springer, 2015
  4. ^ Chiappori, P.A., Costa-Dias, M. and Meghir, C. (2015). "The Marriage Market, Labor Supply and Education Choice", Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper No. 1994.
  5. ^ Chan, M. K. (2013). "A Dynamic Model of Welfare Reform," Econometrica, Vol. 81, pp. 941-1001.
  6. ^ 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.