A Survey on Behavioral Models of Intra-Household Consumption

Document Type : Conceptual Paper


1 Ph.D. of Economics, Department of Economics, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Islamic Azad University of Bandar Abbas, Hormozgan, Iran


In the theory of microeconomics, in discussions related to consumer behavior, it is usually assumed that the household acts as a decision-making unit like an individual, and for a household, a budget constraint and a utility function are considered. As a result, only the general behavior of the household will be observable and analyzed. Since the 1980s, this method, which is called the Unitary Household Model, has been criticized theoretically and empirically, and issues such as the inequality of household members have been raised. In contrast to the Unitary Household model, Collective Household Model was proposed in consumer behavior. According to this method, in multi-member households, each member has their own preferences, and what can be important between these members is the intra-household bargaining process. In this article, at first, we will give an introduction including the theoretical foundation and the background of the research, then, while introducing the unitary model as an introduction to collective models, we will examine the collective model and inta-household collective models. At the end, the contents are summarized and suggestions for future research are presented.


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