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Children's Resources in Collective Households: Identification, Estimation, and an Application to Child Poverty in Malawi

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  • Geoffrey R. Dunbar
  • Arthur Lewbel
  • Krishna Pendakur

Abstract

The share of household resources devoted to children is hard to identify because consumption is measured at the household level and goods can be shared. Using semiparametric restrictions on individual preferences within a collective model, we identify how total household resources are divided up among household members by observing how each family member's expenditures on a single private good like clothing vary with income and family size. Using data from Malawi we show how resources devoted to wives and children vary by family size and structure, and we find that standard poverty indices understate the incidence of child poverty. (JEL I31, I32, J12, J13, O12, O15)

Suggested Citation

  • Geoffrey R. Dunbar & Arthur Lewbel & Krishna Pendakur, 2013. "Children's Resources in Collective Households: Identification, Estimation, and an Application to Child Poverty in Malawi," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 438-471, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:1:p:438-71
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.1.438
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Anyck Dauphin & Abdel‐Rahmen El Lahga & Bernard Fortin & Guy Lacroix, 2011. "Are Children Decision‐Makers within the Household?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(553), pages 871-903, June.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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