Marcela Ibanez on the intrinsic value of decision making - evidence from a bargaining experiment in Egypt
Marcela Ibanez will present at the WIDER Seminar Series on 18 March
Absract - The intrinsic value of decision making: Evidence from a bargaining experiment in Egypt
This paper uses an experimental approach to examine the causal eﬀect of social norms on the intrinsic value of decision making. A representative sample of 640 individuals residing in Cairo, Egypt, were confronted with the decision to donate from a joint income to the Egyptian Red Crescent.
In a ﬁrst step, subjects made donation decisions after being paired either with their spouses, or a randomly chosen participant from the same population.
In a second step, subjects were asked anonymously to indicate how strongly they would like their donation preferences to be implemented; the decision of the subject with the higher indicated number was then realized for payment; ties were broke at random.
Results show that married women paired with their spouse have signiﬁcantly lower willingness to retain the right to decide on resource allocation over a joint income. Elicited beliefs regarding the partner’s willingness to retain decision rights show that married women behave in a way that is consistent with the expectations of the spouse and the general cultural setting persisting in Egypt.
Results suggest that in the presence of prescribed social identities and well-deﬁned gender roles, outcomes as expected by the standard bargaining models fail to prevail.
These models are incomplete without taking into account internal constraints to agency that are to a large extent shaped by the existing cultural setting.
About the speaker
Marcela Ibáñez-Díaz is an Associate Professor of Development Economics at the University of Göttingen. She leads the Behavioral Development Economics group in the Centre for the Study of Poverty, Equity and Growth. Marcela Ibáñez-Díaz’s research interests also include Labor Economics and Policy Evaluation.
In 2014 she received the Science Award from the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture. She is a member of the program Environment for Development (EfD).
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