Family Caregiving, Property Ownership and Intrahousehold Bargaining in Colombia

Greta Friedemann-Sanchez, University of Minnesota

Scholars studying intrahousehold economics attempt to understand the components of intrahousehold bargaining processes and how they influence individuals’ negotiation outcomes. Property ownership is known to play a major role in providing individuals with negotiation leverage. My prior research in Colombia suggests that women are not able to purchase as much property as men. Is caregiving - that is the financial, emotional and unpaid work performed on behalf of relatives - a component of intrahousehold bargaining? If so, does it influence property acquisition? The emotional realm that underpins families is largely absent from intrahousehold bargaining models and ethnographic accounts. This mixed methods paper explores caregiving as a component of intrahousehold bargaining and by gaining an understanding of the cultural definition of and gendered role of caregiving as well as the association between caregiving and asset accumulation by gender in Colombia among individuals in the formal and informal labor market.

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Presented in Session 164: Intrahousehold Relationships in Non-Western Societies