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PROPERTY STATUS AND DECISION-MAKING: EVIDENCE FROM GENDER ASSET GAP PROJECT Hema Swaminathan Centre for Public Policy Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.

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Presentation on theme: "PROPERTY STATUS AND DECISION-MAKING: EVIDENCE FROM GENDER ASSET GAP PROJECT Hema Swaminathan Centre for Public Policy Indian Institute of Management Bangalore."— Presentation transcript:

1 PROPERTY STATUS AND DECISION-MAKING: EVIDENCE FROM GENDER ASSET GAP PROJECT Hema Swaminathan Centre for Public Policy Indian Institute of Management Bangalore Gender and Assets Workshop World Bank June 14, 2012

2 Motivation Does women’s property ownership affect their bargaining power in a relationship? Are they able to negotiate as equals with their husbands? Understanding the links between women’s property ownership and household decision-making processes

3 Data Data from Gender Asset Gap Project ( ) Truncated to households with couple respondents  Ecuador: 1,776  Ghana: 1,572  Karnataka, India: 2,511

4 Decision-making Most surveys typically ask only women about specific decisions (health, purchases, contraception, etc.)  Some exceptions (DHS) asks both men and women about decision making on earnings, health care, and household purchases This project collects information from each spouse about:  Their own decision  Their involvement in their spouse’s decision

5 Decision-making (contd.) Decisions considered here  Employment (only paid work, excludes contributing workers)  Use of earnings

6 Illustration, Karnataka The following were collected from each spouse: Do/did you make the decision whether, when and where to be employed? Do/did you make the decision whether, when and where your spouse is employed? Responses  Individually  Joint  No, someone else makes the decision

7 Husband’s employment Wife’s employment (2) Her say (1) His say (3) His say(4) Her say Analogously for use of earnings Decision on employment

8 Combines responses from all four questions Each spouse reports that the decisions about their own employment and their spouses’ employment are made in consultation with each other Egalitarian decision-making

9 Property ownership status Defined as any immoveable property  Residence  Agricultural land  Other real estate Incidence of ownership  Only wife owns, Only husband owns, Both own, Neither owns (captures relative status within HH)  Wife’s share in gross couple wealth (Ecuador and Ghana)

10 Empirical specification Logit models estimated with egalitarian as the dependent variable Independent variable of interest: property status Also controlling for – individual characteristics of both spouses, differences in these, demographic, socio-economic characteristics of household, regional variations

11 RESULTS

12 Incidence of property ownership for all couples (%)

13 Egalitarian decision-making by wife’s property status (%) Property status EmploymentEarnings EcuadorGhanaKarnatakaEcuadorGhanaKarnataka Wife owns some property Wife does not own any property

14 Property status (incidence) & decision-making, odds ratios (employment) Base: Neither owns EcuadorGhanaKarnataka Only wife owns Only husband owns Both own1.59**

15 Property status (incidence) & decision-making, odds ratios (earnings) Base: Neither owns EcuadorGhanaKarnataka Only wife owns Only husband owns Both own1.58**

16 Property status (share in wealth) & decision- making EcuadorGhana Decisions Wives' share of wealth Wives' share of wealth squared Wives' share of wealth Employment ** Earnings ***

17 VariablesEcuadorGhanaKarnataka Wife’s age + Couple age difference - # of adult men - Couple earn the same (base: man earns more) + Only man has been in previous relationship (base: first union for both) - Both have been in previous relationship (base: first union for both) - Couple in same ethnic group (base: couple from different ethnic group) + Rural (base: Urban) +-+ Religion (Islam, base: Hindu) - Other determinants – Employment decision

18 VariablesEcuadorGhanaKarnataka Woman’s age - Women’s year of schooling Schooling difference (man – woman) + Quintile 3 (base: Quintile 1) Quintile Only wife employed (base: only husband employed) Both employed Neither Husband is wage employed (base: casual labour) + Couple earn the same (base: man earns more) + Rural (base: Urban) +-+ Not Christian (base: Christian) Mixed religion Muslim Couple Other determinants – Earnings decision

19 Concluding thoughts Mixed results across countries In Ecuador, the couple owning and share of wealth matters In Ghana only share of wealth matters Property ownership (incidence) not making an impact in Karnataka  Previous work suggests women are likely to exhibit more autonomy in decision-making when they own property

20 Concluding thoughts (contd.) Egalitarian outcome is ‘ideal’ and restrictive For property status to impact egalitarianism, it would have to  Impact her own involvement in decisions  Her spouse’s perception of her involvement May not be the case as women rarely acquire property independently (natal inheritance, purchase); mostly co- owners on husband’s property

21 Extensions Other ways of conceptualising decision making:  Autonomous  Agreement (symmetry, egalitarian, husband dominates, wife dominates)  Disagreements Addressing endogeneity concerns

22 Thank You! For the country studies & comparative report see: Indian Institute of Management Bangalore Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore – , INDIA


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