The authors of the book tried to examine the family and lay emphasis on the role that economics play in the family. The chapter uses the neo-classical economy theory to examine the role of gender and race within…
The important advantages of specialization and exchange within the family were also analyzed in this chapter. The authors further explained that, the reasons that, women do some house chores better in it is due to the fact that, they specialize in these works. Economies of scale were highlighted as one of the advantages of families as the price of the commodity required within the family tend to be reduced due to the fact that, they are required in large quantities. Other advantages of the families are: the availability of public goods or shared consumption within the family, externalities in consumption as two people that care for each other tend to derive satisfaction from the happiness of the other party, risk pooling, family investments that occur due to the marital relationship within the family and certain institutional advantages (Blau, Ferbr & Marianne).
The author also looked at the negative side of specialization. The unequal sharing of housework is one of the disadvantages of specialization as the women tend to do the bulk of the work in the house and this tends to deny them of some salient market opportunities. Other disadvantages of specialization as mentioned in the chapter are: the transformation that affects the female gender especially throughout their life in the family as she tends to her children, she does not have the kind of time that her husband has for leisure. Another disadvantage of specialization is the cost of not being able to exist or survive without the other members of the family. Domestic violence and tastes and bargaining power were also mentioned as disadvantages of specialization.
The Marxist and feminist views of the family which were based on the marital and sexual exploitation of women in the family were also analyzed in the chapter as the men tend to be the ones making the decisions in the family. Other alternatives to economic approaches such as the bargaining models and the transaction ...
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