Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Female - headed households, poverty, and the welfare of children in urban Brazil

Contents:

Author Info

  • Barros, Ricardo
  • Fox, Louise
  • Mendonca, Rosane
  • DEC
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    The authors analyze the characteristics and behavior of households headed by women in urban Brazil and identify some of the consequences for child welfare on the growth of these households. The following was among their findings. First, households headed by women are a heterogeneous group, which varies strongly by region - as does the extent of poverty among them. Such households are more common in the northeast and increase with urbanization. Second, households headed by women are not, on average, a"vulnerable group"in Brazil, as some are quite well off. The subset of such households that are very poor is quite vulnerable. Households headed by women tend to be poorer in the northeast, especially around Recife, than in Porto Alegre in the south, where there is virtually no gap. Third, less than half the households headed by women contain dependent children, and only a third are headed by the stereotypical"single mother."When there are children in households headed by women, especially households headed by single mothers, the income gap is greater than in other households. As a portion of households in Brazil, households headed by women and containing children represent only 3.4 percent of urban households, but this group tends to be poor, which is worrisome for child outcomes. Poor children tend to live in households headed by women. These households are poor not because there are more children or fewer adults but because women earn less than men. Women heading households do not earn less than other women - on the contrary. However, it female heads of households earned as much as male heads of households, the average income in households headed by women would be above that for other households and fewer single mothers would be poor. The best interventions toeliminate poverty in this group are those that focus on: (a) ending wage discrimination; and (b) ending occupational segregation. Interventions that focus on raising skill levels and educational attainment for the whole workforce, including women, would also help alleviate absolute poverty, although not necessarily relative income differences."Workfare"or public employment policies would not help this group since most already participate in the labor force. Programs targeted to this group would not be particularly progressive, given the heterogeneity and income spread among these households. But the results do suggest the need for special interventions for children in households headed by women, given those children's tendency to stay out of school.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/1994/03/01/000009265_3961006045515/Rendered/PDF/multi0page.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1275.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: 31 Mar 1994
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1275

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
    Phone: (202) 477-1234
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords: Poverty Assessment; Anthropology; Town Water Supply and Sanitation; VN-Acb Mis -- IFC-00535908; Housing&Human Habitats;

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Varley, Ann, 1996. "Women heading households: Some more equal than others?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 505-520, March.
    2. Appleton, Simon, 1996. "Women-headed households and household welfare: An empirical deconstruction for Uganda," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(12), pages 1811-1827, December.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1275. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.