Household Decision Making and the Influence of Spouses' Income, Education, and Communist Party Membership: A Field Experiment in Rural China

34 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2009

See all articles by Fredrik Carlsson

Fredrik Carlsson

Goeteborg University - School of Economics & Commercial Law

Peter Martinsson

Göteborg University - Department of Economics and Statistics

Ping Qin

Goeteborg University

Matthias Sutter

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Cologne - Department of Economics

Abstract

We study household decision making in a high-stakes experiment with a random sample of households in rural China. Spouses have to choose between risky lotteries, first separately and then jointly. We find that spouses' individual risk preferences are more similar the richer the household and the higher the wife's relative income contribution. A couple's joint decision is typically determined by the husband, but women who contribute relatively more to the household income, women in high-income households, women with more education than their husbands, and women with communist party membership have a stronger influence on the joint decision.

Keywords: household decision making, risk, field experiment, China

JEL Classification: C91, C92, C93, D10

Suggested Citation

Carlsson, Fredrik and Martinsson, Peter and Qin, Ping and Sutter, Matthias, Household Decision Making and the Influence of Spouses' Income, Education, and Communist Party Membership: A Field Experiment in Rural China. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4139. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1395246

Fredrik Carlsson (Contact Author)

Goeteborg University - School of Economics & Commercial Law ( email )

Box 640
SE 405 30 Goeteborg
Sweden
+46 31-773 4174 (Phone)
+46 31-773 1043 (Fax)

Peter Martinsson

Göteborg University - Department of Economics and Statistics ( email )

Box 640
Vasagatan 1, E-building, floor 5 & 6
Göteborg, 40530
Sweden

Ping Qin

Goeteborg University ( email )

Viktoriagatan 30
Göteborg, 405 30
Sweden

Matthias Sutter

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

University of Cologne - Department of Economics

Cologne, 50923
Germany

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