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Heterogeneous households: A within-subject test of asymmetric information between spouses in Kenya

Jessica Hoel

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2015, vol. 118, issue C, 123-135

Abstract: To identify which spouses respond to asymmetric information, I play two dictator games with each member of the couple. One decision is kept secret from the respondent's spouse, while another choice is public. Most people give the same amount in public and secret, while a minority behave opportunistically and give more to their spouse in public and less in secret. The types identified in the lab also behave differently at home. For those who behave opportunistically in the lab, greater knowledge about finances at home is associated with worse opportunism in the lab, suggesting that for these couples complete information at home is not due to trust but rather is an endogenous response to non-cooperative behavior. The paper highlights that allowing for heterogeneous types changes the conclusions we draw about appropriate models of the household and suggests that laboratory games can be used to identify household types useful in the interpretation of field data.

Keywords: Households; Asymmetric information; Dictator game (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C92 D13 D82 J12 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.02.016

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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