Financial Decision-Making in Domestic Migrant Households in India

We will present results from a study on financial decision-making and behaviour in migrant households conducted in India between 2020 and 2021. Using primary data from two sample surveys, one with migrant workers and one with their household members, we employ simple, multinomial, and fractional logit regressions to study financial decision-making processes and outcomes. Results show that household members compete for influence over financial decisions and that both individual attributes as well as household characteristics cause shifts in power balances. Besides the migrant himself, we find that being an older man and earning an income is, unsurprisingly, correlated with higher decision-making power. However, women still play an important role on specific spending categories. We also find that positive financial behaviour, such as increased savings and expenditures on health and education, is positively correlated with the gender of the decision-maker being female, the migrants’ educational level, risk aversion, and whether financial decisions are made in consultation with other household members.