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Special Topics Graduate Student Research Presentation

Mothers' income negotiated in the home
When Oct 19, 2016
from 02:00 PM to 03:00 PM
Where 2101C Morrill Hall
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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Matthew Staiger

A number of influential studies have found that income in the hands of mothers (as opposed to fathers) is relatively more likely to be allocated towards productive investments such as the health and education of children in the household. A common interpretation of the evidence is that income increases decision making power within the household and that women have systematically greater desire to invest in their children. I offer an alternative interpretation in which the income of mothers is more likely to be negotiated over within the household, and the process of negotiation–not differences in preference–makes it more likely that the resources are allocated towards the children. I contribute to the theoretical literature by extending the collective framework of the household to an environment with transaction costs associated with reaching and sustaining cooperation. I also use this framework to refine a new measure of resource control within the household. I then apply these ideas in Uganda where I use a lab-in-the-field experiment to test the predictions of the model and validate the measurement tool.

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