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Whose Fast and Whose Feast? Intrahousehold Asymmetries in Dietary Diversity Response Among East African Pastoralists


  • Kira M. Villa
  • Christopher B. Barrett
  • David R. Just


This article explores intrahousehold dietary diversity allocation within pastoralist households in eastern Africa. We estimate income elasticities of dietary diversity for demographic cohorts allowing asymmetric behavior depending on household circumstances. We find that household heads disproportionately bear the nutritional burden when household income is below mean, while other cohorts disproportionately enjoy the nutritional gains when it is above mean. The commonly assumed symmetric framework masks this intrahousehold behavior and produces biased elasticity estimates. Stochastic dominance tests show adult daughters as better-off than other household members in their dietary diversity, sons as worse off, and little difference between male heads and their wives. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Kira M. Villa & Christopher B. Barrett & David R. Just, 2011. "Whose Fast and Whose Feast? Intrahousehold Asymmetries in Dietary Diversity Response Among East African Pastoralists," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1062-1081.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:93:y:2011:i:4:p:1062-1081

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew Dillon & Kevin McGee & Gbemisola Oseni, 2015. "Agricultural Production, Dietary Diversity and Climate Variability," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(8), pages 976-995, August.
    2. Tim K. Loos & Manfred Zeller, 2014. "Milk sales and dietary diversity among the Maasai," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(S1), pages 77-90, November.
    3. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:72:y:2017:i:c:p:27-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:spr:ssefpa:v:10:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s12571-018-0806-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Darrouzet-Nardi, Amelia & Miller, Laurie & Joshi, Neena & Mahato, Shubh & Lohani, Mahendra & Drozdowsky, Julia & Beatrice, Rogers, 2016. "Longitudinal analysis of the intrahousehold distribution of foods in rural Nepal: Effectiveness of a community-level development intervention," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235536, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Hebous, Sarah & Klonner, Stefan, 2014. "Economic Distress and Farmer Suicides in India: An Econometric Investigation," Working Papers 0565, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.

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