Spousal Control and Efficiency of Intra-Household Decision Making: Experiments among Married Couples in India, Ethiopia and Nigeria

Arjan Verschoor, Bereket Kebede, Alistair Munro, Marcela Tarazona

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper


We examine whether the nature of gender relations matters for the effects on household efficiency of exogenous variation in spousal control over the intra-household allocation of resources. Experiments testing for efficiency were conducted among married couples in eight sites representing a range of conjugal cultures: from an extreme form of separate spheres in northern Nigeria to (male) centralised control in North India, along with a variety of intermediate cases. Inefficiency is widespread, varies greatly and tends to be lower when wives control the allocation. The exception is a site in northern Nigeria where female control over resources is well established.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherNational Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

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NameDiscussion Paper

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