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Next Brown Bag

Monday, Nov 3
Melvin Stephens

Perceptions of Wealth and the Demand for Health

a PSC Small Fund Research Project

Investigator:   Jessica Hoel

Using a combination of laboratory games, a thorough individual survey, and a cash transfer field experiment, I measure patterns of sharing between married couples in rural Kenya using original data collected for this dissertation. The laboratory games allow the measurement of motives to distribute resources between spouses in a controlled setting. In preliminary work on Chapter 1, I find that while men are more generous to their wives in public, they are significantly less generous in a secret game in which their behavior is hidden from their spouse. This behavior has substantial implications for models of household bargaining. Respondents were asked detailed survey questions about their demographics, income, expenditures, and standard measures of bargaining power, allowing me to explore the relationship between background characteristics and sharing behaviors in the games in Chapter 2. The final chapter will correlate behavior in the games to responses to a randomized cash transfer program.

Funding Period: 02/01/2011 to 06/30/2012

Country of Focus: Kenya

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