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Determinants of Sharing between Spouses: Experimental Evidence from Rural Kenya

a PSC Small Fund Research Project

Investigator:   Jessica Hoel

Using a field experiment in Siaya District, Kenya, I examine sharing in the dictator game between couples over relatively large stakes. I find first that men are substantially more generous to their wives than women are to their husbands: men keep an average of 48.5% for themselves, while women keep 79.8%. I also find that the effect of the amount offered is small, with men keeping only 8 percentage points more when the offer increases from 100 KSH ($1.25) to 1000 KSH ($12.50) and women actually keeping 3 percentage points less. Personal and family characteristics are important determinants of sharing, but even controlling for demographic factors, couples are matched in interesting ways: men who keep less than half tend to be matched with women who keep almost all of their transfers; men who keep more are matched with women who keep more than half but less than all. This heterogeneity between households suggests that for models of household bargaining, a diversity of models within a single community may be appropriate.

Funding Period: 11/01/2010 to 12/31/2011

Country of Focus: Kenya

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