“Gender and Agency Within the Household: Experimental Evidence from Pakistan”

On Thursday, June 16th, at 4.00pm, the NOVAFRICA Center welcomes Marcel Fafchamps, from Stanford University to present his work on intra-household decision making and women empowerment in Pakistan.

Uzma Afzal
Giovanna d’Adda
Marcel Fafchamps

Theoretical and empirical work on intra-household decision making capture empowerment through bargaining weights given to individual preferences, and infer such weights from household consumption allocations. In this paper we test two key hypotheses underlying this work: first, that the sharing rule is the same for all private consumption goods; and second, that household members only care about their final consumption, not about the process by which consumption decisions are made. We use data from a survey and a novel laboratory experiment implemented with adult couples in Pakistan. The experiment is designed to separate the pure value of ‘empowerment’, that is, the right to choose, from the value of having one’s preferred choice selected. We find that women’s involvement in decision making is decreasing in the importance of the decision, thus rejecting the constant sharing rule hypothesis. We also find that women are less willing to pay to have their preferred option implemented in the lab, suggesting that they have internalized their lower agency in the household.

Please find further information about this seminar here.