What's Love Got to Do with It? An Experimental Test of Household Models in East Uganda

45 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2008

See all articles by Vegard Iversen

Vegard Iversen

University of Manchester

Cecile Jackson

University of East Anglia (UEA)

Bereket Kebede

University of East Anglia - School of International Development and CBESS

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)

Date Written: January 2006

Abstract

We test core theories of the household using variants of a public good game and experimental data from 240 couples in rural Uganda. Spouses do not maximise surplus from cooperation and realise a greater surplus when women are in charge. This violates assumptions of unitary and cooperative models. When women control the common account, they receive less than when men control it; this contradicts standard bargaining models. Women contribute less than men and are rewarded more generously by men than vice versa. This casts doubt on postulates in Sen (1990). While the absence of altruism is rejected, we find evidence for opportunism. The results are put in a socioeconomic context using quantitative and qualitative survey data. Assortative matching and correlates of bargaining power influence behaviour within the experiments. Our findings suggest that a one-size fits all model of the household is unlikely to be satisfactory.

Keywords: intra-household allocations, household models, experimental method, Uganda

JEL Classification: D10, C90

Suggested Citation

Iversen, Vegard and Jackson, Cecile and Kebede, Bereket and Munro, Alistair and Verschoor, Arjan, What's Love Got to Do with It? An Experimental Test of Household Models in East Uganda (January 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1080594 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1080594

Vegard Iversen

University of Manchester ( email )

Cecile Jackson

University of East Anglia (UEA) ( email )

Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

Bereket Kebede

University of East Anglia - School of International Development and CBESS ( email )

Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/view/bereket-kebede/

Alistair Munro (Contact Author)

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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