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The Status of Women and the Quality of Life among the Poor


  • Basu, Alaka Malwade


This paper looks at differences in the quality of life of two culturally distinct groups and concludes that similar economic circumstances do not necessarily imply a similar quality of life at a household level. In a North India-South India comparison it finds that the two cultural groups are very different in the position of their women even when other socioeconomic conditions are very similar. In particular, the two cultures differ widely in the norms about female seclusion (and in the actual physical use of space) and in the levels of economic activity by women. The paper then places these findings in the context of the debate on the need for more meaningful indicators of development and discusses the role of greater cultural sensitivity in economic development policies. Copyright 1992 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Basu, Alaka Malwade, 1992. "The Status of Women and the Quality of Life among the Poor," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(3), pages 249-267, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:16:y:1992:i:3:p:249-67

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hina Nazli & Shahnaz Hamid, 1999. "Concerns of Food Security, Role of Gender, and Intrahousehold Dynamics in Pakistan," PIDE-Working Papers 1999:175, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    2. Pei-Shan Liao & Yang-Chih Fu & Chin-Chun Yi, 2005. "Perceived quality of life in Taiwan and Hong Kong: an intra-culture comparison," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 43-67, March.

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