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What's love got to do with it? An experimental test of household models in east uganda

Author

Listed:
  • Vegard Iversen
  • Cecile Jackson
  • Bereket Kebede
  • Alistair Munro
  • Arjan Verschoor

Abstract

We test core theories of the household using variants of a public good game and experimental data from 240 couples in rural Uganda. Spouses do not maximise surplus from cooperation and realise a greater surplus when women are in charge. This violates assumptions of unitary and cooperative models. When women control the common account, they receive less than when men control it; this contradicts standard bargaining models. Women contribute less than men and are rewarded more generously by men than vice versa. This casts doubt on postulates in Sen (1990). While the absence of altruism is rejected, we find evidence for opportunism. The results are put in a socioeconomic context using quantitative and qualitative survey data. Assortative matching and correlates of bargaining power influence behaviour within the experiments. Our findings suggest that a one-size fits all?? model of the household is unlikely to be satisfactory.

Suggested Citation

  • Vegard Iversen & Cecile Jackson & Bereket Kebede & Alistair Munro & Arjan Verschoor, 2006. "What's love got to do with it? An experimental test of household models in east uganda," Artefactual Field Experiments 00071, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:artefa:00071
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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. 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).
    3. Tipper, Adam, 2010. "Economic models of the family and the relationship between economic status and health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(10), pages 1567-1573, May.
    4. Susana Martínez-Restrepo & Juan Camilo Mejía & Erika Enríquez, 2016. "Eliciting women's willingness to take a job. Evidence from displaced and extremely poor women in Cali, Colombia," COYUNTURA ECONÓMICA, FEDESARROLLO, vol. 46(1), pages 149-173, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Utteeyo Dasgupta & Subha Mani, 2013. "Only Mine or All Ours: An Artefactual Field Experiment on Procedural Altruism," Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series dp2013-01, Fordham University, Department of Economics.
    7. Carlsson, Fredrik & Martinsson, Peter & Qin, Ping & Sutter, Matthias, 2009. "Household decision making and the influence of spouses’ income, education, and communist party membership: A field experiment in rural China," Working Papers in Economics 356, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Jonathan Robinson, 2012. "Limited Insurance within the Household: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 140-164, October.
    11. 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..
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. Peterman, Amber & Schwab, Benjamin & Roy, Shalini & Hidrobo, Melissa & Gilligan, Daniel, 2015. "Measuring women’s decisionmaking: Indicator choice and survey design experiments from cash and food transfer evaluations in Ecuador, Uganda, and Yemen:," IFPRI discussion papers 1453, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    16. 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).
    17. 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.
    18. David Fielding, 2013. "How Much Does Women's Empowerment Influence their Wellbeing? Evidence from Africa," Working Papers 1307, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2013.
    19. 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.
    20. 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.
    21. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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