A Treatise on the Family: Enlarged Edition

Harvard University Press, 1991 - 424 Seiten

Imagine each family as a kind of little factory—a multiperson unit producing meals, health, skills, children, and self-esteem from market goods and the time, skills, and knowledge of its members. This is only one of the remarkable concepts explored by Gary Becker in his landmark work on the family. Becker applies economic theory to the most sensitive and fateful personal decisions, such as choosing a spouse or having children. He uses the basic economic assumptions of maximizing behavior, stable preferences, arid equilibria in explicit or implicit markets to analyze the allocation of time to child care as well as to careers, to marriage and divorce in polygynous as well as monogamous societies, to the increase and decrease of wealth from one generation to another.

The consideration of the family from this perspective has profound theoretical and practical implications. For example, Becker's analysis of assortative mating can be used to study matching processes generally. Becker extends the powerful tools of economic analysis to problems once considered the province of the sociologist, the anthropologist, and the historian. The obligation of these scholars to take account of his work thus constitutes an important step in the unification of the social sciences.

A Treatise on the Family will have an impact on public policy as well. Becker shows that social welfare programs have significant effects on the allocation of resources within families. For example, social security taxes tend to reduce the amount of resources children give to their aged parents. The implications of these findings are obvious and far-reaching.

With the publication of this extraordinary book, the family moves to the forefront of the research agenda in the social sciences.


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LibraryThing Review

Nutzerbericht  - heidilove - LibraryThing

this is an interesting look at the family from an economoic point of view. the narrative isn't really a narrative, and one has to be able to translate equations into the point, as Becker doesn't ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

Review: A Treatise on the Family

Nutzerbericht  - Ay - Goodreads

What a frustrating way to spend an evening. The economic models of the family don't work, so you...remodel the family to make them work in the model??? Read, if only to know how to reference it as a seminal text of economics of the family. Vollständige Rezension lesen

Ausgewählte Seiten


SinglePerson Households
Division of Labor in Households and Families
Human Capital Effort and the Sexual Division of Labor
Polygamy and Monogamy in Marriage Markets
Assortative Mating in Marriage Markets
The Demand for Children
A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility
Family Background and the Opportunities of Children
Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families
Altruism in the Family
Families in Nonhuman Species
Imperfect Information Marriage and Divorce
The Evolution of the Family
The Family and the State

Inequality and Intergenerational Mobility

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Beliebte Passagen

Seite xiv - The interval is allowed for the receipt of any memorandum of dissent or reservation, together with a brief statement of his reasons, that any member may wish to express; and such memorandum of dissent or reservation shall be published with the manuscript if he so desires. Publication does not. however, imply that each member of the Board has read the manuscript, or that either members of the Board in general, or of the special committee, have passed upon its validity in every detail.
Seite xiv - Director, consisting of three Directors selected as nearly as may be one from each general division of the Board. The names of the special manuscript committee shall be stated to each Director when the summary and report described in paragraph (4) are sent to him.
Seite xiv - Board, requesting approval or disapproval of publication, and thirty additional days shall be granted for this purpose. The manuscript shall then not be published unless at least a majority of the entire Board and a...
Seite xiv - Presidents), consisting of three Directors selected as nearly as may be one from each general division of the Board. The names of the special manuscript committee shall be stated to each Director when notice of the proposed publication is submitted to him.
Seite xiv - DIRECTORS TO THE WORK AND PUBLICATIONS OF THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH 1. The object of the National Bureau of Economic Research is to ascertain and to present to the public important economic facts and their interpretation in a scientific and impartial manner. The Board of Directors is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the work of the National Bureau is carried on in strict conformity with this object.
Seite xiv - Board, or to its Executive Committee, for their formal adoption, all specific proposals concerning researches to be instituted.

Über den Autor (1991)

Gary S. Becker was University Professor of Economics and Sociology at the University of Chicago. In 1992, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics.

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