Discussion paper

DP18775 HeforShe: Bargaining Power, Parental Beliefs, and Parental Investments

We study the dynamics between intra-household bargaining and parental time-intensive investments in children. We combine novel measures of verbal investments and beliefs about the returns to investment for both parents with hyper-local variation in female bargaining power stemming from traditional inheritance practices. On average, mothers talk more to children than fathers and in a more engaging way. Female bargaining power is associated with higher paternal investment, but only when mothers expect investments to improve child language. These results are consistent with the prediction of a collective model in which powerful women elicit paternal investment when they believe it is important.


Walker, S, P Grosjean, A Cristia and A Delavande (2024), ‘DP18775 HeforShe: Bargaining Power, Parental Beliefs, and Parental Investments‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 18775. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp18775