Publication Date

Spring 12-1-2009


Household production is the result of inputs from a variety of members, each of whom contains overlapping but non-identical interests. This dissertation explores the conditions under which the division of labor and the allocation of household resources precipitates parent-offspring and spousal conflict. This broad goal is addressed through three specific goals: 1) to identify factors affecting variation in the likelihood of task delegation to children and resistance toward performing delegated tasks; 2) to understand how variation in household labor demand influences childrens time allocation, considering ways in which behavioral manipulation might compromise the child's future prospects; and 3) to understand the causes and consequences of men's diverted investment in offspring. Common to each of these issues is the recognition that individuals often face a trade-off between investing in ego- versus family-directed pursuits, and that the costs and benefits of familial investment will change in response to specific individual and familial circumstances. Taken together, results show that at times self-interest pervades relations of even the closest of kin. This highlights a need for the development of models of family behavior that incorporate children and parents as effective decision-makers capable of influencing outcomes with respect to converging and diverging goals.'

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Kaplan, Hillard

Second Committee Member

Lancaster, Jane

Third Committee Member

Winking, Jeffrey

Fourth Committee Member

Gangestad, Steven

Fifth Committee Member

Gurven, Michael

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