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Towards a Synthesis of Economic and Sociological Theories of Family Labour Supply

Samuel Cameron ()

Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, 1985, vol. 1, issue 1, 43-57

Abstract: Economists have generally ignored the family in micro-economic theory by treating households as one person. Becker’s allocation of time theory has spawned a number of labour supply studies which claim to take account of the family. It is argued in this paper that the labour supply function is indeterminate except under highly unpalatable assumptions. Indeterminacy results in family bargaining which needs to be considered by economists. It is argued that family bargaining is a subject requiring sociological treatment. Economic and sociological approaches to labour supply decisions are surveyed and a synthetic framework, of the two, for empirical work, put forward.

Date: 1985
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