Date of Award

Spring 2018




Thomas Masterson, PhD


The main purpose of this paper is to argue that women from lower socioeconomic status (SES) position are, on the whole, subjected to higher rates of exploitation within the household. This is done by exploring the implications and flaws within traditional neoclassical economic models of the household, and offering a Marxian model of domestic production as an alternative. I argue that incidence of lower SES exacerbates the rate of exploitation by lowering women’s bargaining power within the household. Two forms of bargaining power are posited to be particularly important: (1) the bargaining process over the distribution of resources within the household, and (2) the bargaining process over how much domestic labor the wife performs in the household. An empirical model is provided to test the applicability of these claims in Egyptian society. The results of this paper contribute to the growing recognition that alleviating gender inequality requires the use of public policy that explicitly seeks to remedy the unequal distribution of resources between men and women.

Access Control

Open Access

Included in

Economics Commons