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Let's Talk About the Money: Spousal Communication, Expenditures, and Farm Production

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  • Joyce J. Chen
  • LaPorchia A. Collins

Abstract

A burgeoning body of literature highlights asymmetric information among household members. However, little is known about the source of the asymmetry and its effect on efficiency. Using a unique survey of Ghanaian households, we examine the accuracy of spousal cross reports and the effect of discrepancies on farm production. We find that information problems pertain to scale (the quantity of resources) and scope (the distribution of resources), as well as allocation decisions on the margin (Engel curves). Moreover, we find that information asymmetries lead to inefficiency in production, and the effect is equivalent to about 15% of the variation across households.

Suggested Citation

  • Joyce J. Chen & LaPorchia A. Collins, 2014. "Let's Talk About the Money: Spousal Communication, Expenditures, and Farm Production," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1272-1290.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:96:y:2014:i:5:p:1272-1290.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ajae/aau059
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Udry, Christopher, 1996. "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1010-1046, October.
    3. Castilla, Carolina, 2011. "Ties that Bind: The Kin System as a Mechanism of Income-Hiding between Spouses in Rural Ghana," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 104072, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Richard Akresh & Joyce J. Chen & Charity T. Moore, 2016. "Altruism, Cooperation, and Efficiency: Agricultural Production in Polygynous Households," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(4), pages 661-696.
    5. Markus Goldstein & Christopher Udry, 2008. "The Profits of Power: Land Rights and Agricultural Investment in Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 981-1022, December.
    6. Castilla, Carolina, 2011. "Ties that Bind: The Kin System as a Mechanism of Income-Hiding between Spouses in Rural Ghana," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 104072, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. 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.
    8. Chen, Joyce J., 2013. "Identifying non-cooperative behavior among spouses: Child outcomes in migrant-sending households," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 1-18.
    9. Richard Akresh & Joyce J. Chen & Charity T. Moore, 2012. "Productive Efficiency and the Scope for Cooperation in Polygynous Households," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(2), pages 395-401.
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    Cited by:

    1. Deschênes, Sarah & Dumas, Christelle & Lambert, Sylvie, 2020. "Household resources and individual strategies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).
    2. Lambrecht, Isabel Brigitte, 2016. "“As a Husband I Will Love, Lead, and Provide.” Gendered Access to Land in Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 188-200.
    3. Lambrecht, Isabel, 2016. "“As a husband I will love, lead, and provide:†Gendered access to land in Ghana:," IFPRI discussion papers 1514, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Krumbiegel, Katharina & Maertens, Miet & Wollni, Meike, 2017. "Modern agri-food systems, horticultural employment and women's empowerment," GlobalFood Discussion Papers 257241, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    5. Castilla, Carolina, 2019. "What's yours is mine, and what's mine is mine: Field experiment on income concealing between spouses in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 125-140.
    6. Nicholas Magnan & Abby M. Love & Fulgence J. Mishili & Ganna Sheremenko, 2020. "Husbands’ and wives’ risk preferences and improved maize adoption in Tanzania," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 51(5), pages 743-758, September.
    7. Czyżewski, Bazyli, 2016. "Political Rents of European Farmers in the Sustainable Development Paradigm. International, national and regional perspective," MPRA Paper 74253, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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