Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1821225
 


 



Intra-Household Efficiency: An Experimental Study from Ethiopia


Bereket Kebede


University of East Anglia - School of International Development and CBESS

Marcela Tarazona-Gómez


University of Toulouse 1

Alistair Munro


National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); University of London, Royal Holloway College - Department of Economics

Arjan Verschoor


University of East Anglia (UEA)

April 24, 2011


Abstract:     
This paper uses different versions of a voluntary contribution mechanism in experimental games to test for household efficiency. Efficiency is decisively rejected in all treatments casting doubt on ‘unitary’ and ‘collective’ household models – significant amounts of potential surplus are not realised. Efficiency is rejected whether initial endowments are equally split between spouses or only one spouse takes all. Similarly, efficiency is also rejected with all variations in allocations, whether the household common pool is split equally between the spouses or allocated by the husband or the wife. Information on initial endowments of spouses improves efficiency in some treatments while not having an effect in others suggesting that the role of information is context dependent. Actual and expected contribution rates of spouses are systematically different; husbands’ expectations of their wives’ contributions are higher than actual contributions and wives’ expectations of their husbands’ contributions are lower than actual contributions. These systematic errors in expected and actual behaviour indicate that the attainment of equilibrium in a game theoretic framework is unlikely. Statistical tests indicate that instead of efficiency other considerations like norms are likely important. Overall, most of the empirical results cast doubt on cooperative models and provide some support for behaviour guided either by fairness or other norms. The data are collected from 1,200 married couples in three sites in Ethiopia.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 29

Keywords: household efficiency, intra-household models, experimental games, Ethiopia

JEL Classification: D13, C93, D03

working papers series


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Date posted: April 25, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Kebede, Bereket and Tarazona-Gómez, Marcela and Munro, Alistair and Verschoor, Arjan, Intra-Household Efficiency: An Experimental Study from Ethiopia (April 24, 2011). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1821225 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1821225

Contact Information

Bereket Kebede (Contact Author)
University of East Anglia - School of International Development and CBESS ( email )
Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom
HOME PAGE: http://www.uea.ac.uk/dev/People/Academic/kebede
Marcela Tarazona-Gómez
University of Toulouse 1 ( email )
Place Anatole France
Toulouse Cedex, F-31042
France
Alistair Munro
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) ( email )
Tokyo
Japan
HOME PAGE: http://www.grips.ac.jp/
University of London, Royal Holloway College - Department of Economics ( email )
Royal Holloway College
Egham
Surrey, Surrey TW20 0EX
United Kingdom
Arjan Verschoor
University of East Anglia (UEA) ( email )
Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom
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