The Intra-Household allocations of resources: Cross-Cultural Tests, Methodological Innovations and Policy Implications

In this project, financed jointly by the UK's ESRC and its Department for International Development (DfID) we are using experimental methods combined with household surveys and ethnographic research to test theories of intra-household allocation. The research is organised around one broad theme: the experimental investigation of allocation norms across contexts in which conjugal relations differ and the consequential implications for household models and development policies. 
The Ugandan site In Uttar Pradesh An Ethiopian site Kano State, Nigeria site
Joe Hill
School of International Development University of East Anglia
Cecile Jackson
Professor of Development Studies, School of International Development, University of East Anglia
Bereket Kebede
Senior Lecturer in Economics, School of International Development University of East Anglia
Alistair Munro
Professor of Economics, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Japan
Matthew Osborne
School of International Development, University of East Anglia
Marcela Tarazona Gomez
Senior Research Associate, School of International Development University of East Anglia
Nitya Rao
Senior Lecturer in Gender Analysis and Development, School of International Development, University of East Anglia
Arjan Verschoor
Reader in Economics, School of International Development, University of East Anglia

Aims

We aim tocontribute to a fuller understanding of the unequal distribution of welfare that results from intra-household allocation processes. Our second aim is methodological: to improve the value of economic experiments in a development policy context, in what is a new area, on the boundaries of experimental economics, development studies and anthropology.. Building on our initial work in Uganda, we are conducting research at nine sites in four areas in three countries, selected because they provide a variety of cultural and socio-economic contexts across which intra-household distribution regimes are likely to differ. In eight sites we will run multiple experiments using married couples to test key theories of the household. Alongside the experiments and using the same participants we will implement socio-economic surveys in order to link behaviour within the experiments to measurable attributes of the society in which they take place. For a sub-sample of participants in each location we will also conduct in-depth follow-up interviews, designed to provide a critical perspective on the experimental methods and to elucidate the forms of conjugality, for explanatory purposes, of the participants. Finally, to test the external validity of our methods, in one India site we are running a more natural field experiment.

As we obtain results from the project we will post further information and papers here. More information about our experiment locations and designs can be obtained by clicking on the links at the top.

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Email: alistair-munro at grips.ac.jp