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Do Spouses Cooperate? And If Not: Why?

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  • Cochard François
  • Couprie Helene
  • Hopfensitz Astrid

    () (CRESE, Université de Franche-Comté.
    THEMA, Université de Cergy Pontoise.
    GREMAQ, Toulouse School of Economics)

Abstract

Models of household economics require an understanding of economic interactions in families. Social ties, repetition and reduced strategic uncertainty make social dilemmas in couples a very special case that needs to be empirically studied. In this paper we present results from a large economic experiment with 100 maritally living couples. Participants made decisions in a social dilemma with their partner and with a stranger. We predict behavior in this task with individual and couples' socio-demographic variables, efficiency preferences and couples' marital satisfaction. As opposed to models explaining behavior amongst strangers, the regressions on couples’ decisions highlight clear patterns concerning cooperation behavior which could inspire future household decision-making models.

Suggested Citation

  • Cochard François & Couprie Helene & Hopfensitz Astrid, 2009. "Do Spouses Cooperate? And If Not: Why?," THEMA Working Papers 2009-10, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  • Handle: RePEc:ema:worpap:2009-10
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    Cited by:

    1. Gurven, Michael & Hopfensitz, Astrid & Kaplan, Hillard & Stieglitz, Jonathan, 2016. "Why household inefficiency? An experimental approach to assess spousal resource distribution preferences in a subsistence population undergoing socioeconomic change," TSE Working Papers 16-670, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    2. Volker Meier & Helmut Rainer, 2012. "Beyond Ramsey: Gender-Based Taxation with Non-Cooperative Couples," CESifo Working Paper Series 3966, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. François Cochard & Hélène Couprie & Astrid Hopfensitz, 2018. "What if women earned more than their spouses? An experimental investigation of work-division in couples," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 21(1), pages 50-71, March.
    4. Hélène Couprie & Elisabeth Cudeville & Catherine Sofer, 2015. "Efficiency versus Stereotypes: an Experiment in Domestic Production," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 15025, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    5. 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..
    6. Carlsson, Fredrik & He, Haoran & Martinsson, Peter & Qin, Ping & Sutter, Matthias, 2012. "Household decision making in rural China: Using experiments to estimate the influences of spouses," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 525-536.
    7. Meier, Volker & Rainer, Helmut, 2015. "Pigou meets Ramsey: Gender-based taxation with non-cooperative couples," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 28-46.
    8. Bereket Kebede & Marcela Tarazona & Alistair Munro & Arjan Verschoor, 2014. "Intra-household Efficiency: An Experimental Study from Ethiopia," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 23(1), pages 105-150.
    9. Beblo, Miriam & Beninger, Denis & Cochard, François & Couprie, Hélène & Hopfensitz, Astrid, 2012. "Equality-Efficiency Trade-off within French and German Couples – A Comparative Experimental Study," TSE Working Papers 12-374, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    10. Miriam Beblo & Denis Beninger, 2012. "Do husbands and wives pool their incomes? Experimental evidence," Working Papers of BETA 2012-10, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    11. Savita Kulkarni & Anirudh Tagat & Hansika Kapoor, 2016. "An experimental investigation of intra-household resource allocation in rural India," Working Papers PIERI 2016-20, PEP-PIERI.
    12. Yang, Xiaojun & Carlsson, Fredrik, 2012. "Intra-household decisions making on intertemporal choices: An experimental study in rural China," Working Papers in Economics 537, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    13. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Olivier l'Haridon & Corina Paraschiv, 2013. "Do Couples Discount Future Consequences Less than Individuals?," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201320, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    14. 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.
    15. Hélène Couprie & Elisabeth Cudeville & Catherine Sofer, 2017. "Efficiency versus Gender Roles and Stereotypes: An Experiment in Domestic Production," THEMA Working Papers 2017-10, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Noncooperative Games; Laboratory; Individual Behavior; Household Production and Intra-household Allocation;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation

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