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Impact of Unequal Sharing of Household Resources on Poverty measurement: A Study of Four Indian States

Listed author(s):
  • Amita Majumder

    (Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, India)

  • Saugata Basu

    (GE Capital Intl. Services, Analysis Centre, Gurgaon, Haryana, India)

Most empirical studies of poverty assume an equitable sharing of resources among all household members, although the assumption is unrealistic. Along the line suggested in Findlay and Wright (1996), this paper explores the impact of unequal sharing of resources on poverty measurement in the Indian context. Simulations based on household level National Sample Survey data for the 50th round for the states of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab and West Bengal are carried out under the assumption that women 'lose' and men and children 'gain' because of unequal sharing in the household. The results show that the conventional poverty measures overestimate the overall poverty when compared with cases where intra household allocations or adjustment of poverty lines according to nutritional requirements of men, women and children is taken into account. The poverty measures are highly sensitive to the choice of the sharing parameter as well as to the adjustment of the poverty lines.

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Article provided by Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics in its journal Indian Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 41 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (December)
Pages: 113-127

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Handle: RePEc:dse:indecr:v:41:y:2006:i:2:p:113-127
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