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Spousal Control and Intra-household Decision Making: An Experimental Study in the Philippines

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  • Nava Ashraf

Abstract

I elicit causal effects of spousal observability and communication on financial choices of married individuals in the Philippines. When choices are private, men put money into their personal accounts. When choices are observable, men commit money to consumption for their own benefit. When required to communicate, men put money into their wives' account. These strong treatment effects on men, but not women, appear related more to control than to gender: men whose wives control household savings respond more strongly to the treatment and women whose husbands control savings exhibit the same response. Changes in information and communication interact with underlying control to produce mutable gender-specific outcomes. (JEL D13, D14, J12, J16, O15)

Suggested Citation

  • 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 1245-1277, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:4:p:1245-77
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.4.1245
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Iversen, Vegard & Jackson, Cecile & Kebede, Bereket & Munro, Alistair & Verschoor, Arjan, 2011. "Do Spouses Realise Cooperative Gains? Experimental Evidence from Rural Uganda," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 569-578, April.
    2. Alistair Munro & Bereket Kebede & Vegard Iversen & Cecile Jackson & Arjan Verschoor, 2006. "What’s love got to do with it ? An experimental test of household models in East Uganda," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 06/01, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Feb 2006.
    3. Nava Ashraf & Dean Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2006. "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence From a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 635-672.
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    6. Akresh, Richard, 2005. "Understanding Pareto Inefficient Intrahousehold Allocations," IZA Discussion Papers 1858, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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