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Intra Marriage Bargaining Power and Fertility Decisions for Women in Developing Countries

Author

Listed:
  • Younoh Kim

    (Department of Economics, Eastern Michigan University)

  • Vlad Radoias

    (Department of Economics, Towson University)

Abstract

Two types of theoretical bargaining models can be employed to study issues on intra marriage bargaining - a competitive and a cooperative bargaining model. While many seem to support the idea that couples make their decisions together in trying to maximize household level welfare, there is no general consensus on which type of model is more appropriate. One particular result that seems to suggest that couples do actually bargain competitively is the result that links fertility decisions to bargaining power. The argument is that women prefer less children than men, and that bargaining power influences fertility. However, we argue, these studies are suffering from endogeneity issues that are not properly instrumented for. We propose instruments for bargaining power based on individual risk and time preferences which affect the threat point and bargaining power of spouses, but not the fertility decisions directly. Using this identification strategy, we show that fertility decisions do not depend on bargaining power, which supports the unitary bargaining model. We argue that the previous results were either not addressing the endogeneity issues at all, or based on invalid instruments that were not fully exogenous.

Suggested Citation

  • Younoh Kim & Vlad Radoias, 2014. "Intra Marriage Bargaining Power and Fertility Decisions for Women in Developing Countries," Working Papers 2014-06, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:tow:wpaper:2014-06
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    File URL: http://webapps.towson.edu/cbe/economics/workingpapers/2014-06.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Beata Osiewalska, 2018. "Partners’ empowerment and fertility in ten European countries," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 38(49), pages 1495-1534.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bargaining Power; Fertility.;

    JEL classification:

    • 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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