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Are Children Decision-Makers Within the Household?

Anyck Dauphin (), AbdelRahmen El Lahga (), Bernard Fortin () and Guy Lacroix ()

No 3728, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract: Children are seldom accounted for in household behavioural models. They are usually assumed to have neither the capacity nor the power to influence the household decision process. The literature on collective models has so far incorporated children through the "caring preferences" of their parents or has treated them as household public goods [Bourguignon (1999); Blundell et al. (2005)]. This paper seeks to determine whether children of a certain age are decision-makers. We focus on the decision-making process within households composed of two adults and one child of at least 16 years of age. We first summarize the main restrictions that have been proposed to test the collective model in the context of multiple decision-makers [Chiappori and Ekeland (2006)]. We also show how a minimal number of decision-makers can be inferred from parametric constraints. Second, we apply these tests on data drawn from a series of U.K. Family Expenditure Surveys. Our results show clear evidence that it may be incorrect to assume that daughters and children aged between 16 and 21 are not full members influencing the household decision-making process.

Keywords: collective household models; children; demand analysis; Pareto efficiency; rank tests; intra-household allocation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D11 D12 D79 J13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lab
Date: 2008-09
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Published in: Economic Journal, 2011, 121 (553), 871–903

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Related works:
Journal Article: Are Children Decision‐Makers within the Household? (2011)
Working Paper: Are Children Decision-Makers Within the Household? (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Are Children Decision-Makers Within the Household? (2008) Downloads
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