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Do Spouses Realise Cooperative Gains? Experimental Evidence from Rural Uganda

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

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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 569-578

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:39:y:2011:i:4:p:569-578
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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  1. Martin Browning & P.A. Chiappori, 1996. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations - A General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Discussion Papers 96-10, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  2. Browning, M. & Bourguignon, F. & Chiappori, P.A. & Lechene, V., 1992. "Incomes and Outcomes: A structural Model of Intra-Household Allocation," DELTA Working Papers 92-23, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  3. Manser, Marilyn & Brown, Murray, 1980. "Marriage and Household Decision-Making: A Bargaining Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 31-44, February.
  4. Phipps, Shelley A & Burton, Peter S, 1998. "What's Mine Is Yours? The Influence of Male and Female Incomes on Patterns of Household Expenditure," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(260), pages 599-613, November.
  5. Steven J. Humphrey & Arjan Verschoor, 2004. "Decision-making Under Risk among Small Farmers in East Uganda," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 13(1), pages 44-101, March.
  6. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert A, 1993. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 988-1010, December.
  7. Kaushik Basu, 2004. "Gender and Say A Model of Household Behavior with Endogenously-determined Balance of Power," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2054, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Cecile Jackson, 2009. "Researching the Researched: Gender, Reflexivity and Actor-Orientation in an Experimental Game," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 21(5), pages 772-791, December.
  9. Frances Woolley, 2000. "Control over Money in Marriage," Carleton Economic Papers 00-07, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 2003.
  10. Peter Moffatt & Simon Peters, 2001. "Testing for the Presence of a Tremble in Economic Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 221-228, December.
  11. T. Paul Schultz, 1990. "Testing the Neoclassical Model of Family Labor Supply and Fertility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 599-634.
  12. Munro, Alistair & Bateman, Ian J. & McNally, Tara, 2008. "The family under the microscope: an experiment testing economic models of household choice," MPRA Paper 8974, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. H. Elizabeth Peters & A. Sinan Unur & Jeremy Clark & William D. Schulze, 2004. "Free-Riding and the Provision of Public Goods in the Family: A Laboratory Experiment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(1), pages 283-299, 02.
  14. Udry, Christopher, 1996. "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1010-46, October.
  15. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521716284 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Norman Frohlich & Joe Oppenheimer & Anja Kurki, 2004. "Modeling Other-Regarding Preferences and an Experimental Test," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 119(1_2), pages 91-117, 04.
  17. McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1981. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of the Theory of Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 333-49, June.
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  19. 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 1245-77, September.
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