Intrahousehold Bargaining and the Demand for Consumer Durables in Brazil

51 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2013

See all articles by Ana Polato e Fava

Ana Polato e Fava

Federal University of ABC Region

Mary Arends-Kuenning

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

In Brazil, wives do most of the household work. About sixty percent of them also work outside the household, working a total of about 10 hours more per week than men. Because of this unequal distribution of household work, husbands and wives might have different priorities regarding the purchase of durable goods. Although both husbands and wives enjoy entertainment durable goods, wives might have a relative preference for household-production durable goods such as washing machines over entertainment durable goods such as televisions. Using a Brazilian household consumption survey, we examine whether decisions about ownership of entertainment and production durable goods are the outcomes of a bargaining process between husbands and wives. We use several variables to measure bargaining power, including the ratio of women to men in a state. The results indicate that decisions about durable goods ownership are the outcomes of bargaining processes between husbands and wives with wives having a relative preference for household-production durable goods over entertainment durable goods compared to their husbands. Bargaining might explain why ownership of household production durable goods is relatively low in Brazil, despite their potential to save women's time.

Keywords: consumer durables, Brazil, household production

JEL Classification: J16, J12

Suggested Citation

Polato e Fava, Ana and Arends-Kuenning, Mary, Intrahousehold Bargaining and the Demand for Consumer Durables in Brazil. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2238314 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2238314

Ana Polato e Fava (Contact Author)

Federal University of ABC Region ( email )

Av. dos Estados, 5100
Bloco Delta, 3rd Floor, Room 304
Santo Andre, Sao Paulo 05017-000
Brazil

Mary Arends-Kuenning

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( email )

601 E John St
1301 W Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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