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Do Spouses Cooperate? And If Not: Why?

  • Cochard, François
  • Couprie, Hélène
  • Hopfensitz, Astrid

Models of household economics require an understanding of economic interactions in families. Social ties, repetition and reduced strategic uncertainty make social dilemmas in couples a very special case that needs to be empirically studied. In this paper we present results from a large economic experiment with 100 maritally living couples. Participants made decisions in a social dilemma with their partner and with a stranger. We predict behavior in this task with individual and couples' socio-demographic variables, efficiency preferences and couples' marital satisfaction. As opposed to models explaining behavior amongst strangers, the regressions on couples’ decisions highlight clear patterns concerning cooperation behavior which could inspire future household decision-making models.

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Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 09-134.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Review of Economics of the Household, 2015.
Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:22255
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