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Gender, Poverty and the Intra-household Distribution of Resources

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  • Findlay, Ronald
  • Wright, Robert E

Abstract

Numerous authors have pointed out the importance of taking into consideration the intra-household distribution of resources in the analysis of poverty. Most empirical studies of poverty, however, assume an equal sharing of resources between all household members. There is a growing body of research indicating that this assumption is not realistic. Nevertheless, only limited attention has been directed towards addressing how sharing assumptions can be incorporated into poverty measurement. This paper proposes a method that allows for an evaluation of how the unequal sharing of resources between male and female adults and between adults and children affects the incidence and intensity of poverty. The method is consistent with Sen's axiomatic approach to poverty measurement and is based upon an aggregate poverty index that is additively decomposable with population share weights. These measures are calculated for all households and for households consisting only of couples with children. Data from two countries participating in the Luxembourg Income Study -- Italy and the United States -- are used to illustrate the importance of paying attention to the intra-household distribution when one is examining the relationship between gender and poverty. These countries were chosen as they have, under the equal-sharing assumption, very different gender distributions of poverty.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 913.

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Date of creation: Feb 1994
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:913

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Keywords: Gender; Poverty; Unequal Sharing;

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Cited by:
  1. Bastos, Amélia & Casaca, Sara F. & Nunes, Francisco & Pereirinha, José, 2009. "Women and poverty: A gender-sensitive approach," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 764-778, October.
  2. Marcelo Medeiros & Joana Costa, 2006. "Poverty among women in Latin America: Feminization or over-representation?," Working Papers 20, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
  3. Sunil Kumar & Renuka Mahadevan, 2008. "Construction of An Adult Equivalence Index to Measure Intra-household Inequality and Poverty: Case Study," Discussion Papers Series 363, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  4. Holly Sutherland, 1997. "Women, men and the redistribution of Income," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 18(1), pages 1-22, February.
  5. Medeiros, Marcelo & Costa, Joana, 2008. "Is There a Feminization of Poverty in Latin America?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 115-127, January.
  6. Laura Romeu Gordo & Andreas Motel-Klingebiel & Susanne Wurm, 2009. "SOEP as a Source for Research on Ageing – Issues, Measures and Possibilities for Improvement," Working Paper Series of the German Council for Social and Economic Data 83, German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD).
  7. Gillian Hewitson, 2001. "A Survey of Feminist Economics," Working Papers 2001.01, School of Economics, La Trobe University.

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