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Does working with spouses make teams more productive? A field experiment in India using NREGA

  • Alistair Munro

    (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)

  • Arjan Verschoor

    (School of International Development, University of East Anglia)

  • Amaresh Dubey

    (Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University)

An important question in labour economics is whether the presence in a work environment of friends or relations lowers or raises productivity. We examine the question using evidence from a simple field experiment in Uttar Pradesh, India with married wives and husbands. Teams of four are engaged to dig soil under the NREGA programme. In one treatment husbands and wives work together; in the other treatment they work in separate teams. We find that working with spouses is associated with significantly higher productivity.

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Paper provided by National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in its series GRIPS Discussion Papers with number 12-09.

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Length: 14 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ngi:dpaper:12-09
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  1. Vegard Iversen & Cecile Jackson & Bereket Kebede & Alistair Munro & Arjan Verschoor, 2010. "Do spouses realise cooperative gains? Experimental evidence from rural Uganda," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 10-02, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  2. Mas, Alexandre & Moretti, Enrico, 2006. "Peers at Work," IZA Discussion Papers 2292, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. H. Elizabeth Peters & A. Sinan Unur & Jeremy Clark & William D. Schulze, 2004. "Free-Riding and the Provision of Public Goods in the Family: A Laboratory Experiment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(1), pages 283-299, 02.
  4. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2005. "Social Preferences and the Response to Incentives: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 917-962, August.
  5. 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 1245-77, September.
  6. Fredrik Carlsson & Haoran He & Peter Martinsson & Ping Qin & Matthias Sutter, 2010. "Household Decision Making in Rural China: Using Experiments to Estimate the Influences of Spouses," Working Papers 2010-20, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  7. André De Palma & Nathalie Picard & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2009. "Individual and couple decision behavior under risk: Evidence on the dynamics of power balance," Working Papers hal-00418899, HAL.
  8. Alistair Munro & Ian Bateman, 2004. "An Experiment On Risky Choice Amongst Households," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 77, Royal Economic Society.
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