Women’s Bargaining Power and Children’s Nutritional Status: Evidence from Indonesia

Romi Hartarto*, Claudia Aravena, Arnab Bhattacharjee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Child stunting is a serious challenge in Indonesia, one of the largest middle-income countries in the world. Beyond the influence of bio-behavioural determinants, mothers’ bargaining power in the household is expected to have an overarching contribution to stunting, particularly as the primary caregivers of their children. Using a dataset from the fifth wave of the Indonesia Family Life Survey (IFLS-5), this study examines whether and to what extent a mother’s bargaining power influences children’s nutritional status. The instrumental variables method is used to correct the potential endogeneity of the mother’s bargaining power. The results suggest that children of mothers with higher bargaining power within the household have a lower prevalence of stunting and better anthropometric outcomes. However, other members of the household matter, in the sense that improved outcomes are evidenced when the mother exercises her choice in decision-making in a more consensual manner, by consultation with other household members.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFeminist Economics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 7 Jan 2024


  • intra-household bargaining
  • women empowerment
  • stunting
  • Indonesia


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