Sharing common resources in patriarchal and status-based societies : evidence from TanzaniaSharing common resources in patriarchal and status-based societies : evidence from Tanzania
Institute of Development Policy and Management
Development processes, actors and policies
Feminist economics. -
21(2015):3, p. 142-167
In rural African societies, socioeconomic differentiation linked to gender and social status exerts an important influence on the distribution of common-pool resources. Through a behavioral experiment conducted in 2008 in rural Tanzania, this contribution examines the influence of gender and social status on distribution behavior of users of self-governed common watersheds. It finds that men and women with low social status distribute water equally when water is abundant but keep larger shares when water is scarce, although low-status women try to be as fair as possible at the expense of their returns from irrigated agriculture. Men of high social status keep more than half of the available water for themselves, both in abundance and scarcity, and deprive others from sizeable returns from irrigated agriculture. Women of high social status share altruistically when water is abundant and equally when water is scarce, giving up on returns from irrigated agriculture.