Financial decision-making, gender and social norms in Zambia: Preliminary report on the quantitative data generation, analysis and results

This document presents the preliminary findings from the quantitative data generation and analysis conducted as part of the project “Financial decision-making, gender and social norms in Zambia”. Using a series of specially designed behavioural experiments, we generated an extensive set of insights into the normative environment within which spouses in Eastern Province, Zambia, make decisions about individual money holding and saving.
 
Here are some of those insights. Spouses in Eastern Province, Zambia, are willing to compromise household-level earnings in order to maintain individual control over money. Wives, but not husbands, are more likely to compromise household-level earnings in order to maintain individual control over money, when they can keep that money and their actions hidden from their spouses. Individually-held behavioural prescriptions, i.e., the “shoulds” and  “oughts” that individuals have in mind and reference as guides for their own behaviour and as benchmarks against which to evaluate others’ behaviour, inform decision-making about maintaining individual control over money at a cost to the household. Further, when individuals know that their spouses will find out about their descisions regarding maintaining individual control over money (or not) at a cost to the household, the individuals take their spouses’ opinions about what they should do into account, i.e., they compromise.
 
 
This report appeared as CEDEX Discussion Paper No. 2020-06, University of Nottingham.
 
(Photo copyright: Financial Sector Deepening Zambia). 

Author(s) / editor(s)

Abigail Barr, Marleen Dekker, Floyd Mwansa, Tia Linda Zuz

About the author(s) / editor(s)

Abigail Barr, School of Economics, University of Nottingham 

Marleen Dekker is Professor of Inclusive Development in Africa, African Studies Centre, Leiden University

Floyd Mwansa, Financial Sector Deepening Zambia

Tia Linda Zuz, Financial Sector Deepening Zambia and ReSeP, Stellenbosch University

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