Family Economics and Policy

Module description

The module examines the nature and behaviour of households in modern economies. The module will introduce a supply and demand model of the marriage/partnership market, the analysis of household production and division of labour in the family, gains from marriage/partnership, matching in the marriage/partnership market, divorce, intra-household bargaining, economics of fertility, and birth control. The module contains both theoretical and empirical components and will include the interpretation of estimates from econometric analysis.

Full module specification

Module title:Family Economics and Policy
Module code:BEE2035
Module level:2
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
  • Sonia Oreffice - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:



BEE1036 and BEE1037



Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Module aims

  • Provide students with the microeconomic tools needed to analyse fundamental contemporary questions concerning the individuals’ behaviour inside and outside the family.
  • Help students to understand contemporary issues in economics and public policy and society overall, concerning the formation and dissolution of families, race inequalities, work and family decisions, and children.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. apply economics to fundamental contemporary questions concerning individuals’ behaviour inside and outside the family.
  • 2. apply standard economic principles to the analysis of marriage/partnership, divorce, fertility, division of labour, childcare.
  • 3. describe the main features of, and trends in, the UK household patterns and family policies.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. interpret relevant data and empirical findings
  • 5. assess appropriate policies for various social problems

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. demonstrate awareness of the role of numerical evidence in Economics
  • 7. demonstrate written communication skill

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities22Lectures : 11 lectures of 2 hours each
Scheduled learning and teaching activities5Tutorials: 5 tutorials of 1 hour each
Scheduled learning and teaching activities1Revision
Guided independent study122Reading, research, reflection; preparation for lectures, tutorials and assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Tutorial questionsIn class1-7In class feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Test301 hour1-7Individual feedback
Final exam702 hours1-7Indicative solutions on ELE

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Test (30%) and Final Exam (70%)Examination (100%) - 2 hours1-7August/September Reassessment Period

Re-assessment notes

If assessment is by deferral it will be the same as the original reassessment.

Syllabus plan

Indicative content includes:

  • Analysis of the economic aspects of the family.
  • Development and application of microeconomic tools to the study of households and their interaction in the economy.
  • The marriage market, basic and extended model (matching)
  • Intra-household bargaining; Divorce
  • Fertility; sex ratio and its imbalances
  • Household production and the division of labour
  • Family policies

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • enhance skills in analytical and critical thinking, and in written and verbal presentation
  • appreciate the complexities of decision making, weighing theory and practice

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Hoffman, S.D., Averett, S. (2015), “Women and the Economy: Family, Work, and Pay”, Palgrave MacMillan, third edition. Additional readings (excerpts of recent research articles, policy reports, and articles from The Economist) will be assigned. The exact references will be provided by the instructor.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Recommended Reading

Eswaran, M. (2014), “Why gender matters in economics”, Princeton University press


Background Reading

Becker, G. (1991) A Treatise on the Family. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

Becker, G. (1992), “The economic way of looking at life”, Nobel Lecture.

Blau, F.D., Ferber, M.A., Winkler, A.E. (2006) The economics of women, men, and work, Pearson Prentice Hall

Browning, M., Chiappori, PA, Weiss, Y. (2014) Economics of the Family, Cambridge University Press

The Economist providing contextual articles and current examples.

Origin date


Last revision date