Skip to main content

2013-09-13 | Peer Reviewed

The influence of spouses on household decision making under risk: an experiment in rural China

Carlsson, Fredrik, Peter Martinsson, Ping Qin and Matthias Sutter. 2013. “The influence of spouses on household decision making under risk: an experiment in rural China.” Experimental Economics 16:3: 383-401.
Download reference Doi:10.1007/s10683-012-9343-7

We study household decision making in a high-stakes experiment with a random sample of households in rural China. Spouses have to choose between risky lotteries, first separately and then jointly.

We find that spouses’ individual risk preferences are more similar the richer the household and the higher the wife’s relative income contribution. A couple’s joint decision is typically very similar to the husband’s preferences, but women who contribute relatively more to the household income, women in high-income households, and women with communist party membership have a stronger influence on the joint decision.