The gendered nature of intra-household decision making in and across Europe
After surveying the literature on the economics of household decision-making, we employ data from the 2010 European Union Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) to study the relationship between personal characteristics such as gender and decision-making power and responsibility. We find that across Europe, women more often make decisions about everyday spending and purchases for children, while it is mainly men who make the financial decisions in a household. Greater intrahousehold inequality in income and education is correlated with a lower probability of couples making decisions together, as is having a housewife in the home. Interesting patterns of household decision-making across countries emerge; in the Southern European countries, for example, educational differences do not seem to be strongly related to decision-making power and responsibility, and women in Eastern European countries are more likely to make financial decisions when the household reports facing difficult economic conditions.
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