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On private incentives to acquire household production skills


In non-cooperative family models, being good at contributing to family public goods like household production may reduce one's utility, since it tends to crowd out contributions from one's spouse. Similar effects also arise in cooperative models with non-cooperative threat point: improved contribution productivity entails loss of bargaining power. This strategic effect must be traded against the benefits of household production skills, in terms of increased consumption possibilities. Since cooperation involves extensive specialization, incentives to acquire household production skills are strikingly asymmetric, with the one not specializing in household production having strong disincentives for household skill acquisition.

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Received: 06 July 1999/Accepted: 08 June 2000

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Vagstad, S. On private incentives to acquire household production skills. J Popul Econ 14, 301–312 (2001).

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  • JEL classification: D13
  • H41
  • J16
  • J22
  • J24
  • Key words: Family bargaining
  • household productivity
  • gender roles