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Household Decision Making and the Influence of Spouses' Income, Education, and Communist Party Membership: A Field Experiment in Rural China

  • Carlsson, Fredrik

    ()

    (University of Gothenburg)

  • Martinsson, Peter

    ()

    (University of Gothenburg)

  • Qin, Ping

    ()

    (University of Gothenburg)

  • Sutter, Matthias

    ()

    (University of Cologne)

We study household decision making in a high-stakes experiment with a random sample of households in rural China. Spouses have to choose between risky lotteries, first separately and then jointly. We find that spouses' individual risk preferences are more similar the richer the household and the higher the wife's relative income contribution. A couple's joint decision is typically determined by the husband, but women who contribute relatively more to the household income, women in high-income households, women with more education than their husbands, and women with communist party membership have a stronger influence on the joint decision.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4139.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4139
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