UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

New Research Co-authored by ARE Ph.D. Candidate Caitlin Kieran Highlights Importance of Understanding Disagreements Between Spouses in Household Surveys

Aug. 31, 2020

A recent International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) blog post highlights the work of ARE Ph.D. student Caitlin Kieran. Kieran, along with her co-authors, Kate Ambler (Research Fellow with IFPRI's Markets, Trade, and Institutions Division), Cheryl Doss (Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor in the Department of International Development at Oxford University), and Simone Passarelli (postdoctoral fellow in the Nutrition Department at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health) discuss their paper (forthcoming in Economic Development Cultural Change) in which they study the extent to which spouses agree or disagree about women’s role in the household and develop a model to understand the implications of disagreement for household behavior.

Discussing the work, Kieran explained, “An individual’s role in household decision making and their control over assets are often employed as proxies for bargaining power, but these measures actually capture some combination of information about bargaining power and asymmetric information. By comparing the responses of spouses, we find evidence of hidden assets and decisions. In a companion paper, we extend this approach to a setting in which couples often live with extended families.”


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