Do household members hide employment income from one another? Consistent with income hiding within the household, I find that respondents in Kenya and Indonesia underestimate labor income of other household members, and underreport own income when other household members are present. Households with measured hiding consume more private goods and transfer more to extended families. I develop and test a household model where each member can strategically underreport income, increasing private consumption at the expense of household efficiency. In equilibrium, cooperation is endogenous and incomplete, as household members collectively allocate reported income, but total income is not allocated efficiently.

Hidden Income, Sharing and Consumption Choices: Experimental Evidence from Kenya [work in progress]

Conference Presentations: ECBE 2023, NCDE 2023, SEHO 2023, PACDEV2023, WGAPE 2023 Berkeley, AFE 2022

In a lab-in-the-field experiment in western Kenya, I experimentally vary the observability of income and study how exogenously unobservable income affects individuals’ choices to share income with their spouse and to consume. I find that when income is unobservable, both husbands and wives share less with their spouses, which is consistent with income hiding. In addition, husbands consume significantly more private goods when income is unobservable, while wives do not change their consumption behavior. Hiding in the experiment is predicted by high sharing pressure and is positively correlated with survey-based measures of hiding.

Welfare or Work: Which is Better for Women Empowerment? Evidence from Mexico [working paper available upon request]

Do providing women with conditional cash transfers increase their Pareto weight within the household as much as if they entered employment? Using data between 1997 to 2007 from Mexico's Progresa program (also known as Oportunidades/Prospera), I find that both receiving Progresa transfers and female employment leads to household expenditure reallocation from men's clothing to girls’ and women's clothing. This provides evidence against the household unitary model. Meanwhile, Progresa leads to an increase in boys’ clothing expenditures while female employment leads to a decrease in boys’ clothing expenditures. This suggests that Progresa reallocates household resources from adults to children, while female employment reallocates resources from male family members to female ones.