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Is It Money or Brains? The Determinants of Intra-Family Decision Power

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  • Bertocchi, Graziella

    ()
    (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia)

  • Brunetti, Marianna

    ()
    (University of Rome Tor Vergata)

  • Torricelli, Costanza

    ()
    (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia)

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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6648.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6648

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

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  1. Shelly Lundberg & Jennifer Ward-Batts, 2000. "Saving for Retirement: Household Bargaining and Household Net Worth," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0026, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  2. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Graziella Bertocchi & Monica Bozzano, 2013. "Family Structure and the Education Gender Gap: Evidence from Italian Provinces," CESifo Working Paper Series 4460, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Grabka, Markus M. & Marcus, Jan & Sierminska, Eva, 2013. "Wealth Distribution within Couples," IZA Discussion Papers 7637, 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. Chiara Pederzoli & Costanza Torricelli, 2013. "Efficiency and unbiasedness of corn futures markets: New evidence across the financial crisis," Centro Studi di Banca e Finanza (CEFIN) (Center for Studies in Banking and Finance) 13091, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Facoltà di Economia "Marco Biagi".
  5. Bertocchi, Graziella & Bozzano, Monica, 2013. "Women, Medieval Commerce, and the Education Gender Gap," CEPR Discussion Papers 9359, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. 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".
  7. repec:mod:depeco:0007 is not listed on IDEAS

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