Self ↔ Other
Making choices falls between our own interests and
interests in others
Behavioral economics acknowledges that our decisions may reflect benefits to others particularly in the reproductive health realm. We categorize the channels through which individuals’ decisions are affected by others as well as explore the many identities that individuals hold, and how these lenses of the self can affect decision-making.
Individuals can be persuaded by others to deviate from their own preferences.
Husbands, extended family, and neighbors who value large families sometimes use contraceptive misinformation, such as exaggerated side effects, as a form of ‘persuasion’ to discourage contraceptive use.
Social Norms and Pressure:
A person’s actions are motivated not solely by a desired outcome, but also to conform to social norms.
A qualitative study in Ghana found that providers often cite moral concerns as justification for not providing younger women with the contraceptive options of their choice.
Perceptions about Social Norms:
People conform their behavior based on what he/she perceives to be the community norm even if inaccurate at times.
Surveyed youth in Uganda estimated that more than half of women nationwide were prostitutes, which could affect their own decisions about sex.
Altruism and Reciprocal Fairness:
Individuals often positively of negatively allocate resources to others independently of the their own welfare.
In Zambia, men on average want 0.8 more children than their wives, and they wield greater decision making power; altruism could surface if a husband sacrifices his own desire to have additional children, in order to increase the welfare of his wife.