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The Power to Protect: Household Bargaining and Female Condom Use

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  • Rachel Cassidy
  • Marije Groot Bruinderink
  • Wendy Janssens
  • Karlijn Morsink

Abstract

Use of technologies such as condoms must be agreed upon by both partners. In contexts where women have low bargaining power, many women may struggle to convince their partners to adopt. Introducing a version of the technology that is second-best from a social planner’s perspective, but more acceptable to men, may therefore improve adoption and welfare. We evaluate a field experiment introducing female condoms in the slums of Maputo, Mozambique. Female condoms offer marginally lower protection and higher unit cost than male condoms — which are already widely available — but lower discomfort and stigma to men. As predicted by our model, we find strongest adoption among women with low household bargaining power. The main margin of adoption is therefore from women previously having unprotected sex, rather than women substituting away from male condoms. We also observe an increase in the number of sex acts. A cost-benefit analysis shows how free provision of female condoms could be cost-effective. The findings highlight how policy should take into account the distribution of the costs and benefits of technology adoption, and of bargaining power, within the household.

Suggested Citation

  • Rachel Cassidy & Marije Groot Bruinderink & Wendy Janssens & Karlijn Morsink, 2018. "The Power to Protect: Household Bargaining and Female Condom Use," CSAE Working Paper Series 2018-08, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2018-08
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    File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/csae-wps-2018-08.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Grant Miller & Aureo de Paula & Christine Valente, 2020. "Subjective Expectations and Demand for Contraception," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 20/724, School of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    2. Jean-Paul Azam & Elodie Djemai, 2019. "Matching, Cooperation and HIV in the Couple," Working Papers DT/2019/02, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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