Gender Inequality and Resource Sharing: Evidence from Rural Nicaragua

Journal of Development Perspectives, Forthcoming

31 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2019 Last revised: 20 Aug 2019

See all articles by Ben D'Exelle

Ben D'Exelle

University of East Anglia (UEA)

Arno Riedl

Maastricht University; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Netspar

Date Written: July 1, 2019


Gender inequality in access to resources remains persistent in rural areas in developing countries. To better understand the mechanisms responsible for gender inequality, we start from the observation that access to resources in rural villages is largely determined by within-village resource sharing, which is embedded in social networks. It is therefore important to study the influence of gender on resource sharing while taking account of the social networks of men and women. To do so, we combine data from a distribution experiment and a network survey in rural Nicaragua. We find that sharing is higher among friends and that women have fewer friends than men. Men share more than women and do not discriminate against women, while women share less with men. These results are robust to controls for friendship ties and gender differences in the reporting of these ties. We attribute these results to the gendered division of labour.

Keywords: resource sharing, social ties, gender, lab-in-the-field experiment, Nicaragua

JEL Classification: C9, Z1

Suggested Citation

D’Exelle, Ben and Riedl, Arno M., Gender Inequality and Resource Sharing: Evidence from Rural Nicaragua (July 1, 2019). Journal of Development Perspectives, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Ben D’Exelle (Contact Author)

University of East Anglia (UEA) ( email )

Norwich Research Park
Norwich, NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

Arno M. Riedl

Maastricht University ( email )

Department of Microeconomics & Public Economics
P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200 MD


IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679

Netspar ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE

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