University of Wisconsin–Madison

Event Detail

Productive Inefficiency and Cooperation between Spouses: Evidence from Dairy Farming in Senegal

Presented by:
Jessica Hoel
Department of Economics & Business
Colorado College

Friday, March 2, 2018
Taylor-Hibbard Seminar Room (Rm103)
12:00 pm-1:15 pm

A growing body of literature suggests that frictions between spouses leads to household-level inefficiencies characterized by lower productivity of female controlled assets and enterprises. We examine such productive inefficiencies in dairy farming amongst pastoralist households in Northern Senegal, and using laboratory games, measure the relationship between spousal cooperation and productive inefficiency directly. In households that behave less cooperatively in the games, cows owned by women produce 10.6% less milk per day than cows owned by men, a gap that remains large and statistically significant after controlling for household, owner, and cow characteristics. Results are opposite for those households that behave more cooperatively, where cows owned by women are more productive than cows owned by men. Our results suggest heterogeneity across households in cooperative behavior and resulting inefficiencies, and support the use of lab-based measures of household cooperation to complement survey data in explaining collective behaviors.

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