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Gender, information and the efficiency of household production decisions: An experiment in rural Togo

Author

Listed:
  • Marie Christine Apedo-Amah

    (Stanford University)

  • Habiba Djebbari

    (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Roberta Ziparo

    (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

Why do farm households inefficiently allocate resources across the plots they cultivate? We explore how these production inefficiencies relate to consumption decisions and information sharing within the household. In a lab-in-the-field experiment, male producers allocate too few inputs to their wife's plot, failing to maximize household aggregate profits. They do transfer more inputs when the returns from that plot are higher. Experimental manipulation of information on these returns triggers heterogeneous responses across households. We provide a theoretical framework that rationalizes these findings and further leads to sharp predictions. Joint contribution to a household public good compels spouses to make efficient production decisions. Only households who are in a separate-sphere regime experience inefficiency in farm production and are unable to effectively communicate on returns to avoid extra losses. Consistent with this framework, when we experimentally offer an ex post information verification mechanism, additional losses due to information asymmetries are prevented.

Suggested Citation

  • Marie Christine Apedo-Amah & Habiba Djebbari & Roberta Ziparo, 2019. "Gender, information and the efficiency of household production decisions: An experiment in rural Togo," Working Papers halshs-02462673, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-02462673
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://shs.hal.science/halshs-02462673v2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hoel, Jessica B. & Hidrobo, Melissa & Bernard, Tanguy & Ashour, Maha, 2021. "What do intra-household experiments measure? Evidence from the lab and field," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 188(C), pages 337-350.
    2. Gazeaud, Jules & Khan, Nausheen & Mvukiyehe, Eric & Sterck, Olivier, 2023. "With or without him? Experimental evidence on cash grants and gender-sensitive trainings in Tunisia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 165(C).
    3. Christoph Kubitza & Prakashan Chellattan Veettil & Ishika Gupta & Timothy J. Krupnik, 2024. "Can information constraints explain the low efficiency in premium quality rice cultivation? Evidence from smallholder farmers in Bangladesh," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 75(2), pages 617-652, June.
    4. Zhi Cao & Arthur Lewbel & Wenchao Li & Junjian Yi, 2024. "Collective Behavior with Information Asymmetry," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 1070, Boston College Department of Economics.
    5. Opata, Patience I. & Ezeibe, Adaku B. & Ume, Chikwuma O., 2020. "Impact of women’s share of income on household expenditure in southeast Nigeria," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 15(1), March.
    6. Rachel Cassidy & Anaya Dam & Wendy Janssens & Umair Kiani & Karlijn Morsink, 2022. "Father of the Bride, or Steel Magnolias? Targeting men, women or both to reduce child marriage," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 22-087/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    7. Dan Anderberg & Rachel Cassidy & Anaya Dam & Wendy Janssens & Karlijn Morsink & Anouk van Veldhoven, 2024. "Keeping the Peace while Getting Your Way: Information, Persuasion and Intimate Partner Violence," CESifo Working Paper Series 11133, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    farm households; household production and intra-household allocation; non-cooperative game theory; asymmetric and private information; lab-in-the-field experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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