Household decision-making in Tanzania

market in tanzania
Charlotte Ringdal´ s thesis consists of three papers studying household decision-making in Tanzania and uses different empirical strategies and theoretical models. Photo: Market in Tanzania (
PhD Defense

12 November 2018 11:21

Household decision-making in Tanzania

On Monday 26 November 2018 Charlotte Ringdal will hold a trial lecture on a prescribed topic and defend her thesis for the PhD degree at NHH.

charlotte ringdal
Charlotte Ringdal, PhD Candidate at the Department of Economics, NHH.

Prescribed topic for the trial lecture:

The role of theory in advancing our understanding of intrahousehold decision making

Trial lecture:

10:15 in Karl Borch Aud, NHH

Title of the thesis:

Essays on Women´s bargaining Power and Household decision-making


The thesis consists of three papers studying household decision-making in Tanzania and uses different empirical strategies and theoretical models.

The first paper, "Household bargaining and spending on children: Experimental evidence from Tanzania" is co-authored with Ingrid Hoem Sjursen. The paper reports from a novel lab experiment in Tanzania where we vary the relative bargaining power between spouses in a between-subject design and study the couples' decisions of how much to invest in their children's education. The paper provides two main insights. First, increasing the wife's bargaining power does not increase the investment in the child, but reduces gender differences. Second, the patience of the spouse with more bargaining power is positively associated with the amount invested in the child.

The second paper, "The uptake of family planning services in Tanzania: Experimental evidence on the role of the husband" is co-authored with Ben D'Exelle. Contrary to popular belief, involving husbands in decision-making over contraceptives may be important to increase the uptake of contraceptives in developing countries. Varying the husband's influence over a family-planning decision in a lab-in-the-field experiment in Tanzania, they find that involving the husband increases the use of family planning services. The result is driven by couples where the wife believes that the husband does not approve of contraceptives. Their results suggest that strengthening the intra-household dialogue about family planning could increase the uptake of contraceptives.

The third paper, "Intra-couple preference differences and women's involvement in household decision-making", is co-authored with Ben D'Exelle. Using data from a household survey and an experiment in rural Tanzania, they study a potential determinant of women's bargaining power that has not previously been studied: intra-couple preference differences. They find substantial differences in time and risk preferences between spouses. These differences in preferences are strongly and negatively associated with women's involvement in household decision-making. Their findings suggest that preference conflicts between spouses may contribute to marginalizing women in households in gender unequal societies.


12:15 in Karl Borch Aud, NHH

Members of the evaluation committee:

Professor Alexander W. Cappelen (leader of the committee), Deputy Director at FAIR, Dept. of Economics (NHH)

Deputy Director Britt Augsburg, Centre for the Evaluation of Development Policies (at Institute for fiscal studies London)

Research Director Espen Villanger, CMI


Professor Bertil Tungodden (main supervisor), Centre Director at FAIR, Dept. of Economics (NHH)

Assistant Professor Johannes Haushofer, Princeton University

Professor Ben D'Exelle, Univ. of East Anglia

Professor Ingvild Almås, Principal Investigator at FAIR, Dept. of Economics (NHH)

The trial lecture and thesis defence will be open to the public. Copies of the thesis will be available from