Multigenerational Effects of Education on Women's Household Decision-making Power in Rural China

Cheng Cheng , Princeton University
Yu Xie, Princeton University

Past research on household decision-making has focused on the husband-wife dyad and rarely considered the role of extended family members. This paper extends prior research by examining whether wives’ parental education is associated with wives' household decision-making power and whether this association varies by husbands’ parental education. Using data from the 2010 and 2014 China Family Panel Studies, we find that a higher level of wives’ parental education is associated with an increase in wives’ probability of having the final say on household financial decisions, net of the education of wives, husbands, and husbands’ parents. However, the association between wives’ parental education and decision-making power decreases as husbands’ parental education increases. Educational attainment in one generation may have a lingering impact on the marital power of the next generation.

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 Presented in Session 4. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions