Household Decision Making in Rural China: Using Experiments to Estimate the Influences of Spouses

30 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2010

See all articles by Fredrik Carlsson

Fredrik Carlsson

Goeteborg University - School of Economics & Commercial Law

Haoran He

Göteborg University

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

Many economic decisions are made jointly within households. This raises the question about spouses' relative influence on joint decisions and the determinants of relative influence. Using a controlled experiment (on inter-temporal choice), we let each spouse first make individual decisions and then make joint decisions with the other spouse. We use a random parameter probit model to measure the relative influence of spouses on joint decisions. In general, husbands have a stronger influence than wives. However, in richer households and when the wife is older than the husband, we find a significantly stronger influence of the wife on joint decisions.

Keywords: household decision making, spouses, relative influence, random parameter model, field experiment, time preferences

JEL Classification: C91, C92, C93, D10

Suggested Citation

Carlsson, Fredrik and He, Haoran and Martinsson, Peter and Qin, Ping and Sutter, Matthias, Household Decision Making in Rural China: Using Experiments to Estimate the Influences of Spouses. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5127. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1663167

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)

Haoran He

Göteborg University ( email )

Viktoriagatan 30
Göteborg, 405 30
Sweden

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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