This thesis investigates the effect of higher women’s bargaining power on the health of the family, and in particular child mortality. Theoretically, household bargaining is determined by a variety of factors, mostly focusing on the preferences of the husband and wife. However, women’s bargaining power in underdeveloped countries is substantially lower than developed ones. This phenomena is mainly due to the culture that these women face. Women are often marginalized and expected to be subservient to their husbands. While this stereotype exists in developed countries, it is much more prevalent in countries such a Gambia, which is the focus of this study. As a result of the inequality, women’s preferences are often not heard. This is problematic, as there is evidence that women often care more about health among other goods. The literature on this subject is also evaluated and summarized, and supports the hypothesis that women care more about health, but lack the necessary decision-making power to effectively consume more health products. Further research is done empirically, as a cross-sectional OLS regression predicting child mortality is ran to examine if women’s bargaining power really does increase child health. The results are unexpected, finding the bargaining power proxy insignificant, but explained through additional regressions. Because age and education can be used to predict bargaining power, it makes sense that the effect of the bargaining power proxy may be masked by these variables, which are found to be very significant.


Krause, Brooke



Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2019 Beatrice M. Yarema