In-law Resources and Distribution Within Marriage

Working paper number: 
98-18
Paper Abstract: 
There has been increased attention in recent years to decision-making within the context of multi-member households in which individual members differ in their preferences. Two implications of various alternative specifications of the non-unitary household framework that highlight optimization by individuals have received particular attention and have important implications for the design and consequences of programs that seek to influence resource allocations via income transfers. The first is that the distribution of resources within the household may depend on who in the household receives income transfers. Recent changes in family welfare rules in England, which mandated a shift in the payments of family allowances to married couples from husbands to wives, is an example of a social policy attentive to the proposition that households engage in non-unitary decision-making (Lundberg, Pollak and Wales (1997)).
Other Published Version(s): 

Behrman, Jere R. and Mark R. Rosenzweig. 2006. "Parental Wealth and Adult Children's Welfare in Marriage." The Review of Economics and Statistics 88(3):496-509.