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A revealed preference study on intra-household resource allocation
Last registered on October 21, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
A revealed preference study on intra-household resource allocation
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004877
Initial registration date
October 20, 2019
Last updated
October 21, 2019 10:04 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Goettingen
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Adelaide
PI Affiliation
University of Adelaide
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2019-10-22
End date
2020-06-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Unitary and collective household models assume efficient allocation of resources within the household. A body of literature indicates, however, that the preferences of the household may be pareto-inefficient. Inefficiencies are potentially associated with substantial losses to individual and household welfare in particular when public goods are underprovided or when household members have different consumption preferences. Using data from 400 households, we test the inefficiency hypothesis using a novel revealed preference approach. We elicit the willingness of women and men to pay to receive a small and instant cash transfer in private instead of in front of their partners. Using follow-up survey data collected a week after the experiment, we analyze the spending patterns of those who receive money in private vs. in front of their partners.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Arslan, Cansın, Daniel Gregg and Alexandra Peralta. 2019. "A revealed preference study on intra-household resource allocation." AEA RCT Registry. October 21. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4877-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We propose to employ a mechanism widely used in the experimental economics literature – the Becker, De-Groot, Marschak (Becker et al. 1964) mechanism, or the BDM. The BDM approach provides an explicit measure of the personal cost of transfers of private income to the public pool. The information provided by the BDM approach utilises a direct mechanism which is aligned with real-world decisions regarding entering income into the public account of the household or keeping it private. In this case the willingness to pay (WTP) for keeping endowments private reflects both the difference in preferences for expenditures combined with a lack of agreement on how income should be spent within the household (i.e. allocated to public versus private expenditures).

Endowments used for these components will be worth approximately 1 to 3day’s labour wages, or 15,000 and 30,000 Ushs. The person obtaining the initial endowment (the ‘participant’ in the BDM game) will be randomly selected using stratification across genders (male vs. female) ensuring balance in the sample of male-senders and female-senders (200 of each) for the BDM mechanism treatments.
Intervention Start Date
2019-10-28
Intervention End Date
2019-11-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Efficiency losses in the household, expenditure patterns (public vs private)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We randomly assign either male or female household head of each household in our sample to participate in the BDM treatment (400 households). 200 male household heads in the BDM treatment represent a control group for 200 female household heads in the BDM treatment.

Endowments used for these components will be worth approximately 1.5 or 3-day’s labour wages (15,000 or 30,000 Ushs). We will randomly assign either 15,000 or 30,000 Ushs to BDM treatment participants. 200 participants will receive 15,000 and 200 participants will receive 30,000 Ushs endowment.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization of treatment assignments is done by a computer
Randomization Unit
individuals
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
NA
Sample size: planned number of observations
400 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
200 households control 200 households treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
OFFICE OF RESEARCH ETHICS, COMPLIANCE AND INTEGRITY, THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE
IRB Approval Date
2019-09-25
IRB Approval Number
H-2019-181