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Household Decision Making in Rural China: Using Experiments to Estimate the Influences of Spouses

  • Carlsson, Fredrik


    (University of Gothenburg)

  • He, Haoran


    (Beijing Normal University)

  • Martinsson, Peter


    (University of Gothenburg)

  • Qin, Ping


    (University of Gothenburg)

  • Sutter, Matthias


    (University of Cologne)

Many economic decisions are made jointly within households. This raises the question about spouses' relative influence on joint decisions and the determinants of relative influence. Using a controlled experiment (on inter-temporal choice), we let each spouse first make individual decisions and then make joint decisions with the other spouse. We use a random parameter probit model to measure the relative influence of spouses on joint decisions. In general, husbands have a stronger influence than wives. However, in richer households and when the wife is older than the husband, we find a significantly stronger influence of the wife on joint decisions.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5127.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5127
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