Spatial Analysis of Women’s Participation in Decision-making Over Time in Sub-Saharan Africa

Liliana Andriano , University of Oxford
Julia Behrman, Northwestern University
Christiaan W. S. Monden, University of Oxford

This paper maps spatial and temporal variation in family decision-making norms and analyzes the spatial relationship between urbanization, education and husband’s dominance in decision-making about their wife’s health using pooled Demographic and Health Surveys from 28 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Using adaptive bandwidth kernel density estimates we show considerable spatial heterogeneity in reports of husband’s dominance in decision-making about wives’ health both between and within countries in an earlier (e.g. 2000s) and later (e.g. 2010s) period. Cells with similar values of male dominance on decision-making tend to be concentrated geographically, indicating processes of social diffusion might be spreading norms about decision-making. Spatial panel fixed effects models suggest that increases in urbanization and women’s education are associated with decreases in husband’s dominance in decision-making. Furthermore, husband’s dominance decreases as women’s education in neighboring cells becomes more widespread, which is consistent with a diffusion perspective.

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 Presented in Session 47. Spatial Methods