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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Living standards measurement study (LSMS) working paper
Title The allocation of goods within the household: adults, children, and gender
Issue LSM39
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1988
There has recently been considerable discussion on the role of women in economic development; among the issues is whether or not there is discrimination within the household, so that women receive less than men and girls less than boys. This paper presents an empirical procedure that uses household survey data to cast light on the allocation within the household. Allocation between children of different genders is studied by estimating the effects of additional children on household expenditures on various adult goods. Since children do not consume adult goods, additional children should reduce household expenditures on such goods as resources are diverted towards the goods required by children. The size of this effect as between boys and girls tells whether households typically allocate more to boys than to girls. Using the data from the 1985 Living Standards Survey of the Cote d'Ivoire, it is found that additional children do indeed reduce the demand for adult goods, but that the effects are identical for boys and girs. Even so, the allocation of the adult goods themselves is heavily biased towards adult males. Old men do rather better than do adult women, and old women do worst of all

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