Do Spouses Realise Cooperative Gains? Experimental Evidence from Rural Uganda
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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