June 2014

IZA DP No. 8231: Spousal Employment and Intra-Household Bargaining Power

published in: Applied Economics Letters, 2014 21(6), 560-563

This paper considers the relationship between work status and decision-making power of the head of household and his spouse. I use household fixed effects models to address the possibility that spousal work status may be correlated with unobserved factors that also affect bargaining power within the home. Consistent with the hypothesis that greater economic resources yield greater bargaining power, I find that the spouse of the head of household is more likely to be involved in decisions when she has been employed. Similarly, the head of household is less likely to be the sole decision-maker when his spouse works.