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Essays in Consumption Inequality and the Allocation of Household Resources

Theloudis, A; (2017) Essays in Consumption Inequality and the Allocation of Household Resources. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This thesis consists of three self-contained papers in household economics. Each uses an empirically tractable life-cycle model of consumption and family labor supply to study aspects of economic behavior of households, such as the allocation of expenditure among household members or the allocation of spousal time across paid and non-paid activities. Emphasis is put on modelling intra-household interactions. The opening chapter examines how married people’s allocation of time responds to wages and the gender wage gap. It develops a life-cycle collective model for spouses who allocate time across market work, home production, and leisure. The model features lack of commitment to lifetime marriage and the gender wage gap affects intra-family bargaining power. Results from the PSID suggest that the narrowing gender wage gap since 1980 improved women’s bargaining power in the family resulting in a shift of household work from women to their husbands. The model is used to assess, counter factually, the implications of gender wage equality for family time allocations. The second chapter studies how individual and aggregate consumption in the family respond to idiosyncratic wage shocks using a collective life-cycle model that features public and private consumption, endogenous family labor supply, asset accumulation, correlated wage shocks, and lack of spousal commitment to lifetime marriage. Preliminary results from the PSID suggest strong labor and consumption response to wage shocks and that hours and consumption are substitute goods at the intensive margin of labor supply. Wages have an economically significant effect on intra-family bargaining powers. The last chapter studies theoretically the transmission of income shocks into consumption across households that exhibit unobserved preference heterogeneity. Heterogeneity is nonparametric and non separable from household preferences. I show how any moment of the distribution of consumption and labor supply elasticities can be identified with readily available household panel data. Identification does not rely on any specific parametrization of household preferences or their distribution.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Essays in Consumption Inequality and the Allocation of Household Resources
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: life-cycle collective model, lack of commitment, gender wage gap, equal pay, wages and family time allocation, consumption dynamics and allocation in the family, consumption dynamics, consumption, wages, PSID, unobserved preference heterogeneity, collective model, consumption inequality, wage inequality, labor supply, labour supply, wage shocks, permanent transitory process, family labor supply, family labour supply, simulated method of moments, GMM, minimum distance, Julia
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1540354
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