Taking it in Turn: An Experimental Test of Theories of the Household

31 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2008

See all articles by Danail Popov

Danail Popov

University of London, Royal Holloway College - Department of Economics

Tara McNally

Government of the United Kingdom - Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

Alistair Munro

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

Date Written: April 1, 2008

Abstract

Using a sample of established couples, we conduct an experiment on household decision-making. Individual partners first make a series of dichotomous choices between household goods and vouchers for experiences and then the couple jointly face the same choices. A random lottery device is used to incentivize the decisions. We find clear evidence of turn-taking as a method of resolving disagreements. In other words, when one partner wins one disputed question, it raises the probability that the other partner wins the next dispute. Given the arbitrary order of the questions this suggests that standard decision-theoretic models of household behaviour are inadequate and that instead, much behaviour might be concerned with relationship maintenance rather than the allocation of goods.

Keywords: Household choice, Experiment, Family, Invariance, Turn-taking, Psychological games

JEL Classification: C92, D13, D80

Suggested Citation

Popov, Danail and McNally, Tara and Munro, Alistair, Taking it in Turn: An Experimental Test of Theories of the Household (April 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1125264 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1125264

Danail Popov (Contact Author)

University of London, Royal Holloway College - Department of Economics ( email )

Royal Holloway College
Egham
Surrey, Surrey TW20 0EX
United Kingdom

Tara McNally

Government of the United Kingdom - Health and Safety Executive (HSE) ( email )

United Kingdom

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

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