This paper exploits an original dataset collected in Benin which features data both on income and expenditures at the individual level. We first provide evidence that suggests that husband and wife are not pooling their respective incomes and thus are not making expenditure decisions on the basis of one common budget. As we show, husband and wife are secretive and are individually allocating their personal revenue on private and public goods. We look at a simple model that helps us predict determinants of spouses' pattern of consumptions. Our empirical results indicate that spouse's influence, through his/her income, is always smaller than one self's income impact on both personal private and public goods consumption. Moreover, we find that the spouse's income variable is never significant across all the regressions simultaneously taking into account censoring and endogeneity. We also underline anthropological evidence of gender patterns of public goods expenditures which are corroborated by our results.
In Senegal mutual health organizations (MHOs) have been present in the greater region of Thiès for years. Despite their benefits, in some areas there remain low take-up rates. We offer an insurance literacy module, communicating the benefits from health microinsurance and the functioning of MHOs, to a randomly selected sample of households in the city of Thiès. The effects of this training, and three cross-cutting marketing treatments, are evaluated using a randomized control trial. We find that the insurance literacy module has no impact, but that our marketing treatment has a significant effect on the take up decisions of households.
Civil wars inflict considerable development costs. Understanding the relative fragility of certain segments of the population is a necessary condition to build resilience to ongoing and future violence outbreaks. This paper documents the impact of the violent civil war affecting the Democratic Republic of Congo in the period 1997–2004 on infant mortality. It adopts an instrumental variable approach to correct for the nonrandom timing and location of conflict events using mineral price index variations by district, taking account of the mineral locations and prices, as instrument. Strong and robust evidence, including mother fixed effects regressions comparing siblings, shows that conflict significantly increases girl mortality. The paper also examines the mechanisms explaining this phenomenon, with a focus on disentangling the behavioral from the biological factors. The analysis suggests that gender imbalances in infant mortality are driven by the selection induced by a higher vulnerability of boys in utero rather than by gender discrimination.
Using Development and Health Surveys from 20 countries in Sub Saharan Africa and attributing to each ever-married woman of our sample a measure of rainfall before marriage we show that rainfall positively influences age at first marriage in this sample. We then use rainfall as an instrument to estimate the influence of age at marriage on wives' attitude towards domestic violence. This reveals that the later teenage girls get married, the less likely they are to consider violence towards them as justified.
Using DHS data from Senegal and attributing to each ever-married woman of our sample a measure of rainfall before marriage we show that rainfall positively influences age at first marriage in this sample. Since age at first birth is directly influenced by age at marriage, we use rainfall as an instrument to estimate the influence of age at marriage on first child mortality at age 1 month, 12 months and 60 months. Semiparametric estimates tend to reveal that young mothers' children are more likely not to reach the age of 1 month, 12 or 60 months. Moreover since the younger the mother the greater the chances of dying in labour, our estimates are likely to be a lower bound.