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The Economics of the Family and Family Policy

Francisco Cabrillo, Department of Applied Economics, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain
This comprehensive and authoritative book offers a global approach to the modern economics of the family, family law and family policy.

Beginning with the division of labour in the family, this book deals with the economics of marriage, the demand for children, inter-generational relationships, and the economics of inheritance. The family is analysed using the theory of utility maximisation assuming that individuals wish to achieve the greatest possible satisfaction with limited resources and imperfect knowledge. The family is examined from both long and short term perspectives, and it is assumed that the family is cooperative with incentives for altruistic behaviour greater than in any other social group.
Extent: 208 pp
Hardback Price: $134.00 Web: $120.60
Publication Date: 1999
ISBN: 978 1 85898 828 3
Availability: In Stock
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  • eISBN: 978 1 84064 774 7

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  • Development Studies
  • Development Studies
  • Family and Gender Policy
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Public Policy
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Family and Gender Policy
This comprehensive and authoritative book offers a global approach to the modern economics of the family, family law and family policy.

Beginning with the division of labour in the family, this book deals with the economics of marriage, the demand for children, inter-generational relationships, and the economics of inheritance. The family is analysed using the theory of utility maximisation assuming that individuals wish to achieve the greatest possible satisfaction with limited resources and imperfect knowledge. The family is examined from both long and short term perspectives, and it is assumed that the family is cooperative with incentives for altruistic behaviour greater than in any other social group. Francisco Cabrillo then develops the analysis to include a discussion of the economics of family policy, an area not widely discussed in the existing literature, with special reference to the European Union. He makes use of simple and clear analytical models, such as neoclassical optimization and game theory, to explain the rationality of individual behaviour in the family and the responses to the incentives created by public policies.

The Economics of the Family and Family Policy will be essential reading for economists interested in the family, public policy as well as sociologists and policymakers.
‘Francisco Cabrillo’s book is a masterful and much needed overview of the economics of the family, one of the “heterodox” subjects in which economists have in the last decades proved the fruitfulness of their analytic apparatus. Written with the general reader in view, both economists and non-economists will enjoy this book. It covers not only a wide scope from the theoretical point of view but also looks at the policies directed towards the family. Economic analysis can be very helpful in the task of finding out whether policy makers in this field have been right or, alas, wrong.’
– Carlos Rodríguez Braun, University Complutense, Madrid, Spain

‘[This book] should be of value for the structure of family relations in the western world today and in the past or those of traditional African or Asian society without having to alter its premises. . .’
– Fernando Gómez, Libros

‘Francisco Cabrillo has written an excellent book that will be of great value for anyone interested in the basic ideas that have developed over recent decades on the economics of the family. Professor Cabrillo has a virtue that is rare amongst economists: the skill to write lucidly for laymen on important social and economic matters without sacrificing the sophistication and subtlety of his economic analysis.’
– Ignacio Palacios, Cuadernos de información económica

‘This book teaches us more about how we choose our spouse, about the price of the bride, about why people have children, about the value of children and much more. I liked all the chapters.’
– Rafael Puyol, Neuva Revista
Contents: Preface 1. Economists and the Family 2. The Family as an Economic Unit 3. Marriage(I) 4. Marriage (II) 5. Children 6. The Intergenerational Pact 7. Inheritance 8. Family Protection and Pro-Natalist Policies 9. The Economic Foundations and Effects of a Policy for the Family 10. Technical Problems involved in an Economic Policy for Family Protection Index