DP10256 The Impact of a Permanent Income Shock on the Situation of Women in the Household: the case of a pension reform in Argentina

Author(s): Inés Berniell, Dolores de la Mata, Matilde Pinto Machado
Publication Date: November 2014
Keyword(s): collective models, divorce, household chores, intra-household bargaining power, marital disruption, non-contributory pensions, pensions, permanent income shock, public transfers, senior women
JEL(s): H55, J12, J16, J26
Programme Areas: Industrial Organization
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=10256

Transfers to women may affect their bargaining power within the household and consequently their well-being. We analyze the effects of a pension reform in Argentina that resulted in an unexpected and substantial increase in permanent income for around 1.8 million senior women (women 60 years and over), on outcomes arguably related to women?s bargaining power within the household. Our results imply that a 10 percentage-point increase in senior women?s income share within the couple leads to a statistically significant decrease of 10% in the probability that they are the only person in charge of household chores and to a significant increase of 11% in their husbands? participation in household chores. Moreover, this large income shock significantly increased the probability of divorce/separation among senior women by 19%. Our results show that (permanent) transfers to senior women can have substantial effects on their situation in the household.