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Intra-household efficiency; An experimental study from Ethiopia

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Listed:
  • Bereket Kebede
  • Marcela Tarazona
  • Alistair Munro
  • Arjan Verschoor

Abstract

Using data from experimental games and household survey from 1,200 married couples in three sites in Ethipoia, this paper uses different versions of a voluntary contribution mechanism to test for household efficiency. The experimental and econometric analyses provide many interesting results that have far-reaching implications for intra-houisehold models. Efficiency in contribution behaviour is decisively rejected in all treatments casting doubt on 'unitary' and 'collective' household models that assume Pareto optimality – significant amounts of potential surplus are not realised. Contribution rates by males and females are not significantly different from each other undermining models that argue females tend to contribute more to the family (for example, Sen 1990). Information on itital endowments of spouses improves contribution rates (efficiency) in some treatments while not having effect in others suggesting that the effect of information is context dependent. Actual and expected contribution rates of spouses are systematically different; husbands' expect their wives will contribute more than their actual contributions and wives expect their husbands will contribute lower than actual contribution. These systematic errors in expectations imply that the attainment if equilibrium in a game theoretic framework is unlikely. Statistical tests indicate that instead of efficiency considerations other norms are likely important. For example, in many of the treatments spouses contributed around half of their endowments implying either a norm like fairness or focal points influence decisions. Overall, most of the empirical resulst cast doubt on cooperative models and provide some support for behaviour guided either by farirness or other norms.

Suggested Citation

  • Bereket Kebede & Marcela Tarazona & Alistair Munro & Arjan Verschoor, 2011. "Intra-household efficiency; An experimental study from Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 2011-01, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2011-01
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    Cited by:

    1. Alistair Munro, 2014. "Hide and Seek: A Theory of Efficient Income Hiding within the Household," GRIPS Discussion Papers 14-17, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
    2. repec:eee:jeborg:v:148:y:2018:i:c:p:241-259 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:jjieco:v:33:y:2014:i:c:p:114-133 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Anderson, C. Leigh & Reynolds, Travis W. & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2017. "Husband and Wife Perspectives on Farm Household Decision-making Authority and Evidence on Intra-household Accord in Rural Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 169-183.
    7. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Olivier l’Haridon & Corina Paraschiv, 2013. "Individual vs. couple behavior: an experimental investigation of risk preferences," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 75(2), pages 175-191, August.
    8. François Cochard & Hélène Couprie & Astrid Hopfensitz, 2016. "Do spouses cooperate? An experimental investigation," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 1-26, March.
    9. Michele Tertilt & Matthias Doepke, 2015. "Asymmetric Information in Couples," 2015 Meeting Papers 606, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Farah Said, 2016. "Access to Finance and Agency: An Overview of the Constraints to Female-Run Enterprises," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 21(Special E), pages 331-349, September.
    11. 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.
    12. 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).
    13. Bezu, Sosina & Holden, Stein T., 2015. "Generosity and sharing among villagers: Do women give more?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 103-111.
    14. Nathan Fiala, 2017. "Business is Tough, but Family is Worse: Household Bargaining and Investment in Microenterprises in Uganda," Working papers 2017-05, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    15. Holden, Stein & Bezu, Sosina, 2013. "Joint Land Certification and Intra-household Decision-making:Towards Empowerment of Wives?," CLTS Working Papers 14/13, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Land Tenure Studies.
    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. 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.
    18. Alistair Munro & Danail Popov, 2013. "A portmanteau experiment on the relevance of individual decision anomalies for households," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(3), pages 335-348, September.
    19. Ringdal, Charlotte & Sjursen, Ingrid Hoem, 2017. "Household bargaining and spending on children: Experimental evidence from Tanzania," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 19/2017, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    20. 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.
    21. 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.
    22. 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).
    23. repec:eee:wdevel:v:102:y:2018:i:c:p:18-29 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    household efficiency; intra-household models; experimental games; ethiopia;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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