“Coupling Labor Supply Decisions: An Experiment in India”

Date & Time Dec 05 2022 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
Madeline McKelway, Dartmouth University
Audience Restricted to Princeton University

We study household decision-making about female employment in India. We randomized which spouse was given a ticket enabling enrollment in a women’s weaving job, and cross-randomized the other to receive no information about the ticket, information, or information and discussion with their spouse. Consistent with a bargaining model with frictions, most experts predict information and discussion should raise enrollment. Instead, information had no effect, and discussion reduced enrollment by 40-50%. Negative effects are driven by couples in which the non-ticketed spouse was less supportive of female weavers, consistent with a model in which involving both spouses gives each a veto.