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Do Spouses Realise Cooperative Gains? Experimental Evidence from Rural Uganda

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  • Iversen, Vegard
  • Jackson, Cecile
  • Kebede, Bereket
  • Munro, Alistair
  • Verschoor, Arjan

Abstract

Summary We use experimental data from variants of public good games to test for household efficiency among married couples in rural Uganda. Spouses frequently do not maximise surplus from cooperation and perform better when women are in charge of allocating the common pool. Women contribute less to this household common pool than men and opportunism is widespread. These results cast doubts on many models of household decision making. Experimental results are correlated with socio-economic attributes and suggest that assortative matching improves household efficiency. Developing non-cooperative household models sensitive to the context-specificity of gender relations emerges as a promising future research agenda.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:39:y:2011:i:4:p:569-578
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    Cited by:

    1. Barr, Abigail & Dekker, Marleen & Janssens, Wendy & Kebede, Bereket & Kramer, Berber, 2017. "Cooperation in polygynous households," IFPRI discussion papers 1625, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. François Cochard & Hélène Couprie & Astrid Hopfensitz, 2018. "What if women earned more than their spouses? An experimental investigation of work-division in couples," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 21(1), pages 50-71, March.
    3. repec:eee:jjieco:v:33:y:2014:i:c:p:114-133 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Holden, Stein & Bezu, Sosina, 2014. "Are Wives less Selfish than their Husbands? Evidence from Hawk-Dove Game Field Experiments," CLTS Working Papers 3/14, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Land Tenure Studies.
    5. repec:bla:rdevec:v:21:y:2017:i:4:p:1205-1228 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Munro, Alistair & Kebede, Bereket & Tarazona-Gomez, Marcela & Verschoor, Arjan, 2014. "Autonomy and efficiency. An experiment on household decisions in two regions of India," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 114-133.
    7. Munro, Alistair & Verschoor, Arjan & Dubey, Amaresh, 2013. "Does working with spouses make teams more productive? A field experiment in India using NREGA," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(3), pages 506-508.
    8. Hoel, Jessica B., 2015. "Heterogeneous households: A within-subject test of asymmetric information between spouses in Kenya," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 123-135.
    9. repec:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:182-197 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Charlotte Ringdal & Hoem Sjursen, 2017. "Household bargaining and spending on children: Experimental evidence from Tanzania," WIDER Working Paper Series 128, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    11. Arjan Verschoor & Bereket Kebede & Alistair Munro & Marcela Tarazona, 2017. "Spousal Control and Efficiency of Intra-Household Decision Making: Experiments among Married Couples in India, Ethiopia and Nigeria," GRIPS Discussion Papers 16-31, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
    12. Bereket Kebede & Marcela Tarazona & Alistair Munro & Arjan Verschoor, 2014. "Intra-household Efficiency: An Experimental Study from Ethiopia," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 23(1), pages 105-150.
    13. Holden, Stein & Bezu, Sosina, 2014. "Joint Land Certification, Gendered Preferences, and Land-related Decisions: Are Wives Getting More Involved?," CLTS Working Papers 6/14, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Land Tenure Studies.
    14. Afzal, Uzma & d Adda, Giovanna & Fafchamps, Marcel & Said, Farah, 2016. "Gender and Agency within the Household: Experimental Evidence from Pakistan," CEPR Discussion Papers 11464, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Dasgupta, Utteeyo & Mani, Subha, 2015. "Only Mine or All Ours: Do Stronger Entitlements Affect Altruistic Choices in the Household," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 363-375.
    16. Alistair Munro & Bereket Kebede & Marcela Tarazona-Gomez & Arjan Verschoor, 2011. "Autonomy or efficiency: An experiment on household decisions in two regions of India," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 11-02, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    17. Doss, Cheryl R. & Meinzen-Dick, Ruth, 2015. "Collective Action within the Household: Insights from Natural Resource Management," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 171-183.
    18. repec:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11150-016-9342-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Hoel, Jessica B. & Hidrobo, Melissa & Bernard, Tanguy & Ashour, Maha, 2017. "Productive inefficiency in dairy farming and cooperation between spouses: Evidence from Senegal:," IFPRI discussion papers 1698, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    20. Sarah Reynolds, 2015. "Behavioral games and intrahousehold allocation: teenage mothers and their mothers in Brazil," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 901-927, December.
    21. Miriam Beblo & Denis Beninger, 2012. "Do husbands and wives pool their incomes? Experimental evidence," Working Papers of BETA 2012-10, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    22. repec:eee:jeborg:v:148:y:2018:i:c:p:241-259 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Yang, Xiaojun & Carlsson, Fredrik, 2012. "Intra-household decisions making on intertemporal choices: An experimental study in rural China," Working Papers in Economics 537, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    24. Klaus Abbink & Asadul Islam & Chau Nguyen, 2016. "Whose voice matters? An experimental examination of women empowerment in microfinance," Monash Economics Working Papers 40-16, Monash University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    household behaviour cooperation gender experiments Africa Uganda;

    JEL classification:

    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General

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