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Intrahousehold inequality and child gender bias in Ethiopia

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  • Koohi-Kamali, Feridoon
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    Abstract

    The Rothbarth model of intrahousehold resource allocation has consistently failed to detect child gender bias in many applications over the past two decades. This paper challenges the current consensus that the Rothbarth method is not effective in revealing child gender bias from consumption behavior of adults. It proposes an approach to the Rothbarth model that restricts its application to samples of nuclear households, and employs an index of child gender based on the number of children in the household and related to a specific selective mechanism of discrimination. It demonstrates the effectiveness of this approach with an application to a 2005-06 Ethiopian consumption survey of 21,299 households conducted by Ethiopia's Statistical Authority, covering both urban and rural areas. The paper presents the first clear and extensive evidence of discrimination against girls by all four adult goods employed, and the outcome persists, in various degrees, when reexamined with a lower definition of child age, and with female-headed households. The findings provide support for gender-based policies in child-health and education in Ethiopia.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4755.

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    Date of creation: 01 Oct 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4755

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    Keywords: Gender and Law; Gender and Development; Educational Sciences; Youth and Governance; Population Policies;

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    1. Hoddinott, John & Haddad, Lawrence, 1995. "Does Female Income Share Influence Household Expenditures? Evidence from Cote d'Ivoire," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 77-96, February.
    2. Robin Burgess & Juzhong Zhuang, 2000. "Modernisation and Son Preference," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 29, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    3. Gibson, John & Rozelle, Scott, 2000. "Is It Better To Be A Boy? A Disaggregated Outlay Equivalent Analysis Of Gender Bias In Papua New Guinea," Working Papers 11990, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    4. Ping Zhang & Arthur van Soest & Xiaodong Gong, 2005. "The effects of the gender of children on expenditure patterns in rural China: a semiparametric analysis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 509-527.
    5. Bereket Kebede, 2008. "Intra-Household Allocations In Rural Ethiopia: A Demand Systems Approach," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(1), pages 1-26, 03.
    6. Case, Anne & Lin, I-Fen & McLanahan, Sara, 2000. "How Hungry Is the Selfish Gene?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 781-804, October.
    7. Deaton, A. & Paxson, C., 1997. "Economies of Scale, Household Size, and the Demand for Food," Papers 178, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
    8. Browning, Martin & Francois Bourguignon & Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Valerie Lechene, 1994. "Income and Outcomes: A Structural Model of Intrahousehold Allocation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1067-96, December.
    9. 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.
    10. Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 91-08, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
    11. Valerie Lechene & Martin Browning, 2001. "Caring and Sharing: Tests Between Alternative Models of Intra-Household Allocation," Economics Series Working Papers 70, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    12. Leung, Siu Fai, 1991. "A Stochastic Dynamic Analysis of Parental Sex Preferences and Fertility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1063-88, November.
    13. Sonia Bhalotra & Cliff Attfield, 1998. "Intrahousehold resource allocation in rural Pakistan: a semi-parametric analysis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6679, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Gronau, Reuben, 1988. "Consumption Technology and the Intrafamily Distribution of Resources:," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1183-1205, December.
    15. Ahmad, A. & Morduch, J., 1993. "Identifying Sex Bias in the Allocation of Household Resources: Evidence from Linked Household Surveys from Bangladesh," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1636, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    16. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1986. "On Measuring Child Costs: With Applications to Poor Countries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 720-44, August.
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