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Identifying non-cooperative behavior among spouses: Child outcomes in migrant-sending households

  • Chen, Joyce J.

I propose a model of household decision-making under asymmetric information and show that resulting allocations may not be fully cooperative. The model yields a simple test for cooperative decision-making, which I apply to data from China. I find that, when the father migrates without his family, children spend more time in household production, while mothers spend less time in both household production and income-generating activities. This is not consistent with standard cooperative models of the household: simply reallocating time to compensate for the father's absence would cause an increase in household labor for both children and mothers and, if migration occurs in response to a negative shock, we should observe an increase in mothers' time in income-generating activities rather than a reduction. The results also do not appear to be driven by an increase in mothers' bargaining power, as children's human capital is not affected by migration, controlling for income.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 100 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-18

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:100:y:2013:i:1:p:1-18
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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