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Intra Marriage Bargaining Power and Fertility Decisions for Women in Developing Countries

Younoh Kim and Vlad Radoias ()

No 2014-06, Working Papers from Towson University, Department of Economics

Abstract: Two types of theoretical bargaining models can be employed to study issues on intra marriage bargaining - a competitive and a cooperative bargaining model. While many seem to support the idea that couples make their decisions together in trying to maximize household level welfare, there is no general consensus on which type of model is more appropriate. One particular result that seems to suggest that couples do actually bargain competitively is the result that links fertility decisions to bargaining power. The argument is that women prefer less children than men, and that bargaining power influences fertility. However, we argue, these studies are suffering from endogeneity issues that are not properly instrumented for. We propose instruments for bargaining power based on individual risk and time preferences which affect the threat point and bargaining power of spouses, but not the fertility decisions directly. Using this identification strategy, we show that fertility decisions do not depend on bargaining power, which supports the unitary bargaining model. We argue that the previous results were either not addressing the endogeneity issues at all, or based on invalid instruments that were not fully exogenous.

Keywords: Bargaining Power; Fertility. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D13 J13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 17 pages
Date: 2014-10, Revised 2014-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

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