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Does a wife's bargaining power provide more micronutrients to females : evidence from rural Bangladesh

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  • Rahman, Aminur
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    Abstract

    Using calories in a unitary framework, previous literature has claimed lack of gender inequality in intrahousehold food distribution. This paper finds that while there is lack of gender disparity in the calorie adequacy ratio, the disparity is prominent among children, adolescents, and adults for a number of critical nutrients. Pregnant and lactating women also receive much less of most of these nutrients compared with their requirements. A wife's bargaining power (proxied by assets at marriage), as opposed to her husband's, significantly and positively affects the nutrient allocations of children and adolescents and of adult females. The bargaining effects remain significant after controlling for unobserved household characteristics and the potential nutrition-health-labor market linkage. The findings, which have important policy implications for the growing problem of micronutrient malnutrition in the developing world, also imply that perhaps the nutrition-health-labor market linkage as a key explanation for intrahousehold food distribution has been overemphasized in the previous literature.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6363.

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    Date of creation: 01 Feb 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6363

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    Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Nutrition; Population Policies; Housing&Human Habitats; Gender and Health;

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    1. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, 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. T. Paul Schultz, 1990. "Testing the Neoclassical Model of Family Labor Supply and Fertility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 599-634.
    4. Duncan Thomas, 1994. "Like Father, like Son; Like Mother, like Daughter: Parental Resources and Child Height," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 950-988.
    5. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992. "Collective Labor Supply and Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 437-67, June.
    6. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
    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. Thomas, D., 1989. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Papers 586, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    9. Mark M. Pitt & Shahidur R. Khandker, 1998. "The Impact of Group-Based Credit Programs on Poor Households in Bangladesh: Does the Gender of Participants Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 958-996, October.
    10. Pitt, Mark M. & Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Hassan, Md. Nazmul, 1989. "Productivity, Health and Inequality in the Intrahousehold Distribution of Food in Low-Income Countries," Bulletins 7480, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
    11. Behrman, Jere R., 1988. "Nutrition, health, birth order and seasonality : Intrahousehold allocation among children in rural India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 43-62, February.
    12. Rasul, Imran, 2008. "Household bargaining over fertility: Theory and evidence from Malaysia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 215-241, June.
    13. Folbre, Nancy R, 1984. "Market Opportunities, Genetic Endowments, and Intrafamily Resource Distribution: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 518-20, June.
    14. Bouis, Howarth & Haddad, Lawrence & Kennedy, Eileen, 1992. "Does it matter how we survey demand for food?: Evidence from Kenya and the Philippines," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 349-360, October.
    15. Strauss, John, 1986. "Does Better Nutrition Raise Farm Productivity?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(2), pages 297-320, April.
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