Economics of the Family

Readings and slides will be published here before the relevant seminar.

Further course information can be found here.

Interesting links to article and podcasts can be found here.

Key Dates

  • 19th Feb: Question Outline. Each student will identify a research question related to the economics of the family. You will write a one page paper to motivate your question’s importance and provide some intuition for a possible answer, building upon the literature on your chosen topic.
  • 24th Feb: Problem set handed out.
  • 11th March: Problem set answers due.
  • 11th March: Mid-term draft due. You will develop your research question into the outline of a research proposal. This should contain a literature review that places the project in context, fleshed out hypotheses, and an economic model that formalizes your intuition.
  • 6th May: Final draft due. The final paper will incorporate any feedback you receive on your midterm draft, identify a primary data source and specify a detailed empirical approach. Students are encouraged to, and will be supported in carrying out, some preliminary data description and analysis

Week 1 (20 Jan): Introduction & Overview of Changes in the Family & Women’s Economic Status

  • M. Browning, A. Chiappori and Y. Weiss, Family Economics, Chapter 1
  • S. Lundberg and R. Pollak, “The American Family and Family Economics”, Journal of
    Economic Perspectives, 21 (Spring 2007).
  • C. Goldin, “The `Quiet Revolution’ That Transformed Women’s Employment, Education, and Family”, American Economic Review (Ely Lecture), 96 (May 2006).


Week 2 (27 Jan): Models of the Family & Cooperation

  • Browning, Chiappori & Weiss: Chapter 3
  • S. Lundberg, R. Pollak and T. Wales, “Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from the United Kingdom Child Benefit”, The Journal of Human Resources, 32 (Summer, 1997).
  • *E. Duflo, “Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old-Age Pensions and Intrahousehold Allocation in South Africa”, World Bank Economic Review, 17 (2003).
  • *C. Udry, “Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household”, The Journal of Political Economy, 104 (1996).
  • T. Bergstrom, “Puzzles: Love and Spaghetti, The Opportunity Cost of Virtue”, The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 3 (1989).

Week 2 Slides

Week 3 (3 Feb): Dynamic Models of the Family and Risk Sharing


Week 4 (10 Feb): Marriage – Trends & Assortative Matching


Week 5 (17 Feb): Marriage – Matching Markets and Bride Prices


Week 6 (24 Feb): Divorce


Week 7 (2 March): Fertility & Child Development


Week 8 (9 March): Family Structure

 Week 9 (30 March): Home Production


Week 10 (6 April): Family Friendly Policies


Week 11 (13 April): Earnings and Occupational Differences


Week 12 (20 April): Workplace Flexibility


Week 13 (27 April): Higher Education