The Economics of the Family and Family Policy
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The Economics of the Family and Family Policy

Francisco Cabrillo

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.
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Francisco Cabrillo


. Although much has been written on the economics of the family, very few works give a general overview of the subject and this has been my aim in this book. With  such a broad field to cover, it has been necessary to drastically limit the topics broached. My purpose has been to analyse the family of today, that is, a family  comprising a man and a woman who have married and who, in most cases, have children. Other types of family structure, such as the traditional extensive family or  homosexual couples, are excluded not because economic analysis cannot be applied to such groups or partnerships, but because they carry less specific weight in  present­day society. The reader will find some references to institutions that are of little relevance today such as polygamy or the bride price, but these are included by  way of introduction to the analysis of certain problems or to assist in explaining the overall validity of certain forms of behaviour under different institutional conditions.  Although the elderly do not form part of the nuclear family in the strict sense, a whole chapter is devoted to them and there are many references to the situation of the  elderly in the chapter on inheritance. The reason for including such subjects is obviously their enormous relevance in the modern western world.  The family is studied in this book using the basic methodology of economic theory: the analysis of conduct for utility maximization in people whose aim is to achieve...

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