Introduction Within the household bargaining literature, bargaining power is generally understood in terms of economic resources, such as income or assets. Empirical analyses of women’s bargaining power in households in developed and developing countries find that, in general, higher female incomes lead to higher bargaining power, which in turn tends to increase women’s relative wellbeing (Quisumbing, 2003). For assets, the empirical literature comes up with similar results, indicating that when women hold more assets, their bargaining power improves, with a positive impact on decision making power and subsequently, on women’s individual wellbeing indicators (Agarwal, 1994). Such findings confirm the general idea behind household bargaining models stating that control over more economic resources strengthens women’s fallback position vis-à-vis their partners, and could serve as a threat point in case of conflicting interests. Moreover, in cooperative bargaining models, women’s contribution of economic goods to the household increases their economic value to the partner, so that even without using one’s fallback position as a threat point, women’s bargaining power is likely to increase with more control over economic resources because the opportunity costs to the partner of not cooperating will increase.

Additional Metadata
Publisher Union for Radical Political Economy (URPE) and the International Association For Feminist Economics (IAFFE)
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/1765/18284
Series ISS Staff Group 3: Human Resources and Local Development
Citation
Mabsout, R, & van Staveren, I.P. (2009). Power in Households: Disentangling Bargaining Power. ISS Staff Group 3: Human Resources and Local Development. Union for Radical Political Economy (URPE) and the International Association For Feminist Economics (IAFFE). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/18284