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Gender, Poverty and the Intra-household Distribution of Resources


  • Findlay, Jeanette
  • Wright, Robert E


Most empirical studies of poverty assume an equal sharing of resources between all household members. There is a growing body of research indicating that this assumption is not realistic. This paper explores how the unequal sharing of resources could potentially affect the measurement of poverty. Simulations based on micro-data from two countries, Italy and the United States, are carried out under the assumption that women 'lose' and men and children 'gain' because of unequal sharing in the household. The authors' findings suggest that, if there is significant intrahousehold inequality of this type as some writers have suggested, then conventional methods of poverty measurement will likely to lead to a serious underestimate (overestimate) of the incidence and intensity of female (male) poverty. Copyright 1996 by The International Association for Research in Income and Wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Findlay, Jeanette & Wright, Robert E, 1996. "Gender, Poverty and the Intra-household Distribution of Resources," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 42(3), pages 335-351, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:42:y:1996:i:3:p:335-51

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Markus Jäntti & Janet Gornick, 2011. "Child Poverty in Comparative Perspective: Assessing the Role of Family Structure and Parental Education and Employment," LIS Working papers 570, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    3. Hans-Jürgen Andreß, 2014. "Frieden und Emanzipation?," AStA Wirtschafts- und Sozialstatistisches Archiv, Springer;Deutsche Statistische Gesellschaft - German Statistical Society, vol. 8(1), pages 7-31, June.
    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. Marcelo Medeiros & Joana Simões Costa, 2005. "Poverty Among Women In Latin America: Feminization Or Over-Representation?," Anais do XXXIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 33th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 150, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    6. Marchand, J. & Smeeding, T., 2016. "Poverty and Aging," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.
      • Marchand, Joseph & Smeeding, Timothy, 2016. "Poverty and Aging," Working Papers 2016-11, University of Alberta, Department of Economics, revised 20 Nov 2016.
    7. 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).
    8. Luca Piccoli, 2017. "Female poverty and intrahousehold inequality in transition economies," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 353-353, March.
    9. Michael Rogan, 2016. "Gender and Multidimensional Poverty in South Africa: Applying the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 126(3), pages 987-1006, April.
    10. 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.
    11. Gornick, Janet C. & Jäntti, Markus, 2012. "Child poverty in cross-national perspective: Lessons from the Luxembourg Income Study," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 558-568.
    12. Markus Jäntti & Janet Gornick, 2009. "Child Poverty in Upper-Income Countries: Lessons from the Luxembourg Income Study," LIS Working papers 509, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    13. Gillian Hewitson, 2001. "A Survey of Feminist Economics," Working Papers 2001.01, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
    14. Medeiros, Marcelo & Costa, Joana, 2008. "Is There a Feminization of Poverty in Latin America?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 115-127, January.
    15. Karagiannaki, Eleni & Platt, Lucinda, 2015. "The changing distribution of individual incomes in the UK before and after the recession," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 63906, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    16. Monemou, Ouo-Ouo Waïta, 2015. "Contribution à l'amélioration de la performance en matière d'imposition sur le revenu en République de Guinée," Economics Thesis from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University, number 123456789/15109 edited by Castagnède, Bernard, March.
    17. Eleni Karagiannaki & Lucinda Platt, 2015. "The changing distribution of individual incomes in the UK before and after the recession," CASE Papers /192, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    18. Lobna M. Abdellatif & Mohamed Ramadan & Sarah A. Elbakry, 2017. "How Gender Biased Are Female-Headed Household Transfers in Egypt?," Working Papers 1126, Economic Research Forum, revised 08 Oct 2017.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty


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