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Gender Roles and Intra-Household Allocation: Identifying Differences in the Incentives to Hide Money Across Spouses in Ghana

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  • Castilla, Carolina
  • Walker, Thomas F.

Abstract

We present a simple model of intra-household allocation between spouses to show that when there is asymmetric information over monetary transfers between spouses, the incentives to hide income depend on the role spouses play within the household. We test the model with data from a field experiment in Ghana and an in-depth household survey. Ghana is an interesting place to test this since men and women hold separate economies and spending patterns differ by gender. The model is specified in accordance to the marital contract in Ghana, such that intra-household transfers occur between spouses. In other settings, this threat point may seem of little interest because the redistribution of resources between spouses would have no effect on allocations. However, when household bargaining evidences gender roles and strictly positive transfers occur between spouses, there can be incentives to hide private resources, and these incentives differ depending on the role each spouse plays within the marital contract. Results indicate that hiding occurs and that it differs by gender. Husband‘s allocate private cash transfers to alcohol consumption and gifts to his social network, while the wife lends the money out which makes it difficult for the husband to have access to the money. When the cash transfer is public, both spouses increase their gifts to their social network. Further evidence suggests this could be due to social pressure to share.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington with number 124923.

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Date of creation: 12 Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea12:124923

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Related research

Keywords: incomplete information; income hiding; non-cooperative family bargaining; Consumer/Household Economics; D13; D82; J12.;

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  1. Castilla, Carolina, 2011. "Ties that Bind: The Kin System as a Mechanism of Income-Hiding between Spouses in Rural Ghana," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 104072, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  2. Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 91-08, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  3. M. Browning & P. A. Chiappori, 1998. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations: A General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1241-1278, November.
  4. McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1981. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of the Theory of Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 333-49, June.
  5. Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1990. "Population Growth and Human Capital Investments: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S38-70, October.
  6. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
  7. Manser, Marilyn & Brown, Murray, 1980. "Marriage and Household Decision-Making: A Bargaining Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 31-44, February.
  8. Hoff, Karla & Sen, Arijit, 2005. "The kin system as a poverty trap?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3575, The World Bank.
  9. Nava Ashraf, 2009. "Spousal Control and Intra-household Decision Making: An Experimental Study in the Philippines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1245-77, September.
  10. Chen, Joyce J., 2013. "Identifying non-cooperative behavior among spouses: Child outcomes in migrant-sending households," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 1-18.
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