Only Mine or All Ours: A Field Experiment on Procedural Utility in Intra-Household Bargaining

Utteeyo Dasgupta, Franklin & Marshall College

We introduce a novel experiment to investigate procedural altruism in the household. In an artefactual field experiment, we use an allocation game to study consumption choices of married spouses. Subjects can allocate their experiment earning either on food items (joint consumption good), or on gender specific personal clothing (private consumption good). Subjects’ consumption decisions are observed under two treatments – earning with effort and earning without effort. Overall, we find that subjects exhibit a strong preference for own private consumption good when assigned to the effort treatment. However, women’s choices for joint consumption in the household remain independent of the treatment. In contrast, men exhibit a strong preference for private consumption good in the effort treatment.

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Presented in Poster Session 6