Her Land and His Leisure: Testing Household Models Using Distributional Factors

Susmita Roy, University of Virginia

I empirically investigate whether in rural Tanzania: (1) couples bargain over the allocation of household resources or (2) a dominant member makes all the household decisions. The uniqueness of this study is that I use a longitudinal survey that has information on both the allocation of private expenditures as well as leisure . I exploit the exogenous variation across the survey rounds in the (1) share of household land that is held by the females, and (2) losses of crops primarily under the control of male and female members, to identify the impact of changes in relative bargaining power on the relative allocation of leisure time and consumption expenses within the household. I find that the relative leisure time (consumption expenditures) of wives is rising in the fraction of household land held by females (relative share of coffee losses, male crop).

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Presented in Session 44: Economic Development and the Family