He Says, She Says: Exploring Patterns of Spousal Agreement in Bangladesh

37 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2017

See all articles by Kate Ambler

Kate Ambler

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Cheryl R. Doss

University of Oxford - Department of International Development

Caitlin Kieran

University of California, Davis - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Students

Simone Passarelli

Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Students

Date Written: March 9, 2017

Abstract

Participation in household decisions and control over assets are often used as indicators of bargaining power. Yet spouses do not necessarily provide the same answers to questions about these topics. We examine differences in spouses’ answers to questions regarding who participates in decisions about household activities, who owns assets, and who decides to purchase assets. Disagreement is substantial and systematic, with women more likely to report joint ownership or decision making and men more likely to report sole male ownership or decision making. Analysis of correlations between agreement and women’s well-being finds that agreement on joint decision making/ownership is generally positively associated with beneficial outcomes for women compared with agreement on sole male decision making/ownership. Cases of disagreement where women recognize their involvement but men do not are also positively associated with good outcomes for women, but often to a lesser extent than when men agree that women are involved.

Keywords: Bangladesh, South Asia, Asia, Gender, Gender Relations, Households, Assets, Ownership, Decision Making, Families, Social Structure, Women, Communities, Bargaining Power, Measurement, Intrahousehold

Suggested Citation

Ambler, Kate and Doss, Cheryl R. and Kieran, Caitlin and Passarelli, Simone, He Says, She Says: Exploring Patterns of Spousal Agreement in Bangladesh (March 9, 2017). IFPRI Discussion Paper No. 1616, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2930261

Kate Ambler (Contact Author)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Cheryl R. Doss

University of Oxford - Department of International Development ( email )

3 Mansfield Road
Oxford, OX1 3TB
United Kingdom

Caitlin Kieran

University of California, Davis - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Students ( email )

CA
United States

Simone Passarelli

Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Students ( email )

Cambridge, MA
United States

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