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Is it Better to be a Boy? A Disaggregated Outlay Equivalent Analysis of Gender Bias in Papua New Guinea

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  • John Gibson
  • Scott Rozelle

Abstract

The demographic evidence of gender bias in many countries has provided an impetus for finding ways to study the status of women in developing countries. Because of the lack of accurate intra-household data, Deaton [1989] introduced a method for using household expenditure data to infer discrimination in the allocation of goods between boys and girls. Few studies of discrimination using the method, however, have detected bias even though alternative indicators suggest it is a serious problem. In this paper, we study the case of Papua New Guinea, a country in which there are many indicators of severe gender bias. Discrimination in the allocation of goods between boys and girls within households in Papua New Guinea is examined using Deaton's outlay-equivalent ratio method. Adding a boy to the household reduces expenditure on adult goods by as much as would a nine-tenths reduction in total outlay per member, but girls have no effect on adult goods expenditure. The hypothesis of Haddad and Reardon [1993] that gender bias is inversely related to the importance of female labour in agricultural production is not supported. Sensitivity analysis shows that bias in rural areas occurs equally regardless of the age of the household head, while bias against girls may be less in regions of the country that have ethnic groups which practice matrilineal descent.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 40 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 115-136

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:40:y:2004:i:4:p:115-136

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References

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  1. Gibson, John, 2001. "Literacy and Intrahousehold Externalities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 155-166, January.
  2. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Schultz, T Paul, 1982. "Market Opportunities, Genetic Endowments, and Intrafamily Resource Distribution: Child Survival in Rural India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 803-15, September.
  3. Duncan Overfield, 1998. "An Investigation of the Household Economy: Coffee Production and Gender Relations in Papua New Guinea," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(5), pages 52-70.
  4. Deaton, Angus S & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier & Thomas, Duncan, 1989. "The Influence of Household Composition on Household Expenditure Patterns: Theory and Spanish Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 179-200, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Fuwa, Nobuhiko, 2014. "Pro-Girl Bias in Intrahousehold Allocation in the Rural Philippines: Revisiting the ‘adult goods’ approach," MPRA Paper 53750, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Monazza Aslam & Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 2008. "Gender and household education expenditure in Pakistan," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(20), pages 2573-2591.
  3. Nhate, Virgulino & Ardnt, C. & van den Broeck, K., 2006. "Orphans and Discrimination in Mozambique: An Outlay Equivalence Analysis," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25373, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  4. Lee, Yiu-fai Daniel, 2008. "Do families spend more on boys than on girls? Empirical evidence from rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 80-100, March.
  5. Laura Zimmermann, 2012. "Reconsidering Gender Bias in Intrahousehold Allocation in India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(1), pages 151-163, September.
  6. Valero-Gil, Jorge, 2008. "Remittances and the household’s expenditures on health," MPRA Paper 9572, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Koohi-Kamali, Feridoon, 2008. "Intrahousehold inequality and child gender bias in Ethiopia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4755, The World Bank.

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