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Equality-Efficiency Trade-off within French and German Couples – A Comparative Experimental Study

  • Beblo, Miriam
  • Beninger, Denis
  • Cochard, François
  • Couprie, Hélène
  • Hopfensitz, Astrid

We present the results of an experiment measuring social preferences within couples in a context where intra-household pay-off inequality can be reduced at the cost of diminishing household income. We measure social norms regarding this efficiency-equality trade-off and implement a cross-country comparison between France and Germany. In particular, we show that German households are more inequality averse and are thus less efficient than French households. A decomposition of this difference reveals that approximately 40% is driven by diverging sample compositions in the two countries, while 60% of the initial French/German difference remains unexplained. Beliefs differ significantly from observed behavior in both countries. Efficient choices are overestimated in the German sample and underestimated in the French.

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Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 12-374.

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Date of creation: Nov 2012
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Publication status: Published in Annales d'Économie et de Statistique, Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques, Paris, 2015.
Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:26759
Contact details of provider: Phone: (+33) 5 61 12 86 23
Web page: http://www.tse-fr.eu/

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  1. Vegard Iversen & Cecile Jackson & Bereket Kebede & Alistair Munro & Arjan Verschoor, 2006. "What`s love got to do with it? An experimental test of household models in East Uganda," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2006-01, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
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  4. Robinson, Jonathan, 2011. "Limited insurance within the household: evidence from a field experiment in Kenya," MPRA Paper 32667, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Hessel Oosterbeek & Randolph Sloof & Gijs van de Kuilen, 2004. "Cultural Differences in Ultimatum Game Experiments: Evidence from a Meta-Analysis," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 171-188, 06.
  6. Cochard, François & Couprie, Hélène & Hopfensitz, Astrid, 2009. "Do Spouses Cooperate? And If Not: Why?," TSE Working Papers 09-134, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  7. Willinger, Marc & Keser, Claudia & Lohmann, Christopher & Usunier, Jean-Claude, 2003. "A comparison of trust and reciprocity between France and Germany: Experimental investigation based on the investment game," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 447-466, August.
  8. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  9. 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..
  10. Chiappori, Pierre-André & Donni, Olivier, 2009. "Non-unitary Models of Household Behavior: A Survey of the Literature," IZA Discussion Papers 4603, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  12. Gustavo J. Bobonis, 2009. "Is the Allocation of Resources within the Household Efficient? New Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(3), pages 453-503, 06.
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