PIERI-12792 An Experimental Study of Intra-Household Bargaining in Rural India


This study aims to investigate intra-household bargaining outcomes elicited in an artefactual field experiment design where participants completed a purchase task of real commodities. Married couples separately expressed their initial preferences over commodities. The bargaining process in the experiment was exogenously introduced by sharing information about partners’ preferences in the treatment group. We hypothesized that the spouse with weaker bargaining position at the household level would consider the information of their partner’s preferences while making own consumption decisions more compared to their partner. Therefore, they may deviate from their own preferences when purchasing commodities. More than 230 married couples from two villages in the Tamil Nadu state of India participated in the experiment. It was observed that information about partners’ spending preferences resulted in reduced final allocations for female participants. However, the deviation was not significantly different from the original intention to spend. Therefore, information about partners’ preferences may not be an effective medium to elicit bargaining power in the context of jointly-consumed household commodities. Subgroup analyses were performed to identify any heterogeneous treatment effects.

Follow this link to find a full description of the project, related publications and other outcomes.


Project leader: Hari Nagarajan

Project researchers: Anirudh Tagat | Hansika Kapoor | Savita Kulkarni

Journal publication

No journal publications.

Working Papers

Title Modified Size Comments Recommendations
An experimental investigation of intra-household resource allocation in rural India 2016-10-19 4694.41KB 0 0

Policy Briefs

Title Modified Size Comments Recommendations
Intra-household bargaining in rural India 2016-10-20 481.61KB 0 0

Final report

Title Modified Size Comments Recommendations
2016-09-02 557.68KB 0 0


Title Modified Size Comments Recommendations
2016-04-29 520.81KB 0 0

Copyright © 2008-2023 PEP. All rights reserved.
If you have any question or if you need assistance, please contact: info@pep-net.org.