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The gendered nature of intra-household decision making in and across Europe

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  • Alyssa Schneebaum

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business)

  • Katharina Mader

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business)

Abstract

After surveying the literature on the economics of household decision-making, we employ data from the 2010 European Union Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) to study the relationship between personal characteristics such as gender and decision-making power and responsibility. We find that across Europe, women more often make decisions about everyday spending and purchases for children, while it is mainly men who make the financial decisions in a household. Greater intrahousehold inequality in income and education is correlated with a lower probability of couples making decisions together, as is having a housewife in the home. Interesting patterns of household decision-making across countries emerge; in the Southern European countries, for example, educational differences do not seem to be strongly related to decision-making power and responsibility, and women in Eastern European countries are more likely to make financial decisions when the household reports facing difficult economic conditions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Vienna University of Economics, Department of Economics in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number wuwp157.

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Date of creation: Oct 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwwuw:wuwp157

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Keywords: intra-household decision making; Europe; bargaining power;

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  1. Woolley, Frances R & Marshall, Judith, 1994. "Measuring Inequality within the Household," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 40(4), pages 415-31, December.
  2. Zhiqi Chen & Frances Woolley, 1999. "A Cournot-Nash Model of Family Decision Making," Carleton Economic Papers 99-13, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2001.
  3. Cherchye, L.J.H. & Rock, B. de & Vermeulen, F.M.P., 2005. "Opening the Black Box of Intra-Household Decision-Making: Theory and Non-Parametric Empirical Tests of General Collective Consumption Models," Discussion Paper 2005-51, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  4. Jens Bonke & Mette Deding & Mette Lausten & Leslie S. Stratton, 2008. "Intra-Household Specialization in Housework in the United States and Denmark," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 89(4), pages 1023-1043.
  5. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, October.
  6. Pollak, Robert A, 1985. "A Transaction Cost Approach to Families and Households," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 581-608, June.
  7. Marjorie B. McElroy, 1990. "The Empirical Content of Nash-Bargained Household Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 559-583.
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