A United Family Prospers: Intrahousehold Economic Discord, Household Income and Child Growth in Burkina Faso
105 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2021
Date Written: November 24, 2020
We conduct a lab-in-the-field experiment in rural Burkina Faso eliciting subjective exchange rates of the spouses payoff to ones own payoff for those in monogamous and polygamous relationships. Values of these exchange rates suggest significant heterogeneity among households in the consumption stage: some households are consistent with a unitary or collective model while others are better explained by a noncooperative model. Such a heterogeneity is also supported by the correlation between the exchange rates and survey question answers regarding household accounts, individual controls, secret money and consumption preferences. Deviations from parity in these exchange rates, which we define as an indicator of economic discord, are associated with slower early childhood growth. This discord measure is also associated with lower total household income, suggesting a non-separable production-consumption model with a noncooperative production stage, in which intrahousehold consumption inefficiency, if any, transmits into intrahousehold productive inefficiency.
Keywords: Intrahousehold bargaining, Intrahousehold allocative efficiency, Non-separable production-consumption household models, Early childhood growth, Gender, Experiments between spouses
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