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Gary Becker’s household economics: how unitary and how unified?. By Shoshana Grossbard Prepared for Sciences Po March 2010. Introduction.
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By ShoshanaGrossbardPrepared for Sciences Po
In his emailed response, he explained:
“My Treatise was considered by me to be a complement to my previous work, not a substitute. So I did not go over everything in the earlier papers that I considered to be valid and sometimes even important.”
“I never abandoned my view that imputations to men and women are determined by a competitive marriage market - what you call the supply demand framework.”
Becker thus played a pivotal role in the development of individual decision-making models by couples, and deserves some of the credit that is generally given to the bargaining theorists.
My own exposure to such variety of models
Furthermore, given that I wrote my dissertation with him, I got to participate in Becker’s workshop on Applications of Economics in the years 1974-1976. Regular participants included the Who is Who in economics at Chicago including Jim Heckman, T W Schultz, Ed Lazear, George Stigler and Richard Posner. Neither Becker nor Heckman had yet received their Nobel prizes, and Lazear was a beginner level assistant professor. Milton Friedman also attended occasionally.
x: Commercial goods and services
s: Time for self, often called leisure.
l: Labor ( If you go to work)
h: Household labor
i: maximizes utility function
2. Three uses of time
individual i maximizes utility function (1) subject to time constraint (2) and Budget constraint
if I is husband and j is wife: U i (..hj..) means that husband benefits from wife’s hh labor. Ex: wife Doing her husband’s laundry. Gender symmetric: husbands may work for wives
si: Time for self (Leisure time)
hj: potential or actual spouse
2. Egalitarian marriage: this is where the value of work of yihi and the value ofyjhj cancel each other out.
3. Reversed-role marriage: yjhj < yi*hi , husband works more in hh than wife
MUs = y + MUhi = w+ MUli
MUx MUx MUx
MUx MU from x