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Household bargaining and spending on children: Experimental evidence from Tanzania

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  • Ringdal, Charlotte

    () (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Sjursen, Ingrid Hoem

    () (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

Abstract

It is frequently assumed that money in the hands of women leads to better out-comes for their children than money in the hands of men. However, empirical and theoretical evidence are mixed. We conduct a novel between-subject lab-in-the-field experiment to study whether increasing the wife's control over resources causes a couple to allocate more to their child. The paper provides two main insights. First, increasing the wife's bargaining power does not increase the share allocated to the child, but leads to more gender-equal allocations to children. Second, time preferences are important in explaining household decision-making; it is better for the child that the most patient spouse has more relative bargaining power. Our results highlight the importance of taking a broader set of preferences into account when studying household decision-making, and suggest that policy aimed to increase spending on children should target the spouse with preferences most aligned with such spending.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhheco:2017_019
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Intra-household allocation; female bargaining Power; Tanzania;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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