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To invest or not to invest in sanitation: the role of intra-household gender differences in perceptions and bargaining power

Britta Augsburg, Bansi Malde (), Harriet Olorenshaw () and Zaki Wahhaj
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Bansi Malde: Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Kent
Harriet Olorenshaw: Institute for Fiscal Studies

No W21/45, IFS Working Papers from Institute for Fiscal Studies

Abstract: We exploit novel data collected within a randomised controlled trial of a sanitation microcredit intervention to study how intra-household gender di?erences in perceptions of costs and bene?ts of sanitation impact investment decisions. We show that – as long as the wife is involved in household decision-making – the intra-household differences in perceptions we document influence borrowing and investments: uptake of the sanitation loan is higher among households where the wife has higher bene?t perception, whereas successful conversion to a toilet depends on di?erences in monetary cost perceptions. The estimated effects are consistent with the predictions of a model of intra-household decision-making.

Date: 2021-12-03
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