DP16482 Feed the children

Author(s): Laurens Cherchye, Pierre-André Chiappori, Bram De Rock, Charlotte Ringdal, Frederic Vermeulen
Publication Date: August 2021
Keyword(s): children, collective model, Experiment, Intra-household allocation, Kenya
JEL(s): C14, C90, D13
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, Public Economics, Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16482

To understand the household decision-making process regarding food expenditures for children in poor households in Nairobi, we conduct an experiment with 424 married couples. In the experiment, the spouses (individually and jointly) allocated money between themselves and nutritious meals for one of their children. First, we find strong empirical support for individual rationality and cooperative behavior. Second, our results suggest that women do not have stronger preferences for children's meals than men. Third, the spouses' respective bargaining positions derived from consumption patterns strongly correlate with more traditional indicators. Finally, we document significant heterogeneity both between individuals and intra-household decision processes.