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Is it money or brains? The determinants of intra-family decision power

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  • G. Bertocchi
  • M. Brunetti
  • C. Torricelli

Abstract

We empirically study the determinants of intra-household decision power with respect to economic and financial choices using a suitable direct measure provided in the 1989-2010 Bank of Italy Survey of Household Income and Wealth. Focusing on a sample of couples, we evaluate the effect of each spouse's characteristics, household characteristics, and background variables. We find that the probability that the wife is in charge is affected by household characteristics such as family size and total income and wealth, but more importantly that it increases with the difference between hers and her husband's characteristics in terms of age, education, and income. The main conclusion is that decision-making power over family economics is not only determined by strictly economic differences, as suggested by previous studies, but also by differences in human capital and experience. Finally, exploiting the time dimension of our dataset, we show that this pattern is increasing over time.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA in its series CHILD Working Papers Series with number 2.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cca:wchild:2

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Keywords: Family economics; intra-household decision power; gender differences;

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  1. Graziella Bertocchi & Marianna Brunetti & Costanza Torricelli, 2009. "Marriage and Other Risky Assets: A Portfolio Approach," CHILD Working Papers wp03_09, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. C. Pederzoli & C. Torricelli, 2013. "Efficiency and unbiasedness of corn futures markets: new evidence across the financial crisis," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(24), pages 1853-1863, December.
  2. Bertocchi, Graziella & Bozzano, Monica, 2013. "Women, Medieval Commerce, and the Education Gender Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 7224, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Stefano Cosma & Elisabetta Gualandri, 2013. "The sovereign debt crisis: the impact on the intermediation model of Italian banks," Centro Studi di Banca e Finanza (CEFIN) (Center for Studies in Banking and Finance) 13102, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Facoltà di Economia "Marco Biagi".
  4. Graziella Bertocchi & Monica Bozzano, 2014. "Family Structure and the Education Gender Gap: Evidence from Italian Provinces," CHILD Working Papers Series 26, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
  5. Elisabetta Gualandri & Valeria Venturelli, 2013. "The financing of Italian firms and the credit crunch: findings and exit strategies," Centro Studi di Banca e Finanza (CEFIN) (Center for Studies in Banking and Finance) 13101, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Facoltà di Economia "Marco Biagi".
  6. repec:mod:depeco:0007 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Grabka, Markus M. & Marcus, Jan & Sierminska, Eva, 2013. "Wealth Distribution within Couples," IZA Discussion Papers 7637, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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