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Household Expenditure Patterns and Gender Bias: Evidence from Selected Indian States

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  • Geoffrey Lancaster
  • Pushkar Maitra
  • Ranjan Ray

Abstract

This paper uses Indian data to investigate the existence and nature of gender bias in the intra-household allocation of expenditure. An extended version of the collective household model is estimated where the welfare weights, i.e. the bargaining power of the adult decision-makers, are simultaneously determined with the household's expenditure outcomes. Significant gender bias is detected in some items, most notably in education, and it is found that the bias is considerably stronger in the more economically backward regions of the country. It is also found that the results of the test of gender bias vary sharply between households at different levels of adult literacy. This is particularly true of household spending on education. The gender bias in the case of this item is, generally, more likely to prevail in households with low levels of adult educational attainment than in more literate households. This result is of considerable policy importance given the strong role that education plays in human capital formation.

Suggested Citation

  • Geoffrey Lancaster & Pushkar Maitra & Ranjan Ray, 2008. "Household Expenditure Patterns and Gender Bias: Evidence from Selected Indian States," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 133-157.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:36:y:2008:i:2:p:133-157
    DOI: 10.1080/13600810802037803
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ahmad, A. & Morduch, J., 1993. "Identifying Sex Bias in the Allocation of Household Resources: Evidence from Linked Household Surveys from Bangladesh," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1636, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Masahiro Hori & Nahoko Mitsuyama & Satoshi Shimizutani, 2016. "New Evidence on Intra-Household Allocation of Resources in Japanese Households," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 67(1), pages 77-95, March.
    2. Azam, Mehtabul & Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi, 2013. "Are Girls the Fairer Sex in India? Revisiting Intra-Household Allocation of Education Expenditure," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 143-164.
    3. Smriti Sharma & Christophe Nordman, 2016. "The power to choose Gender balance of power and intra-household educational spending in India," WIDER Working Paper Series 061, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Kaletski, Elizabeth, 2016. "Work versus School? The Effect of Work on Educational Expenditures for Children in Mexico," IZA Discussion Papers 10054, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Azam, Mehtabul & Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi, 2013. "Are Girls the Fairer Sex in India? Revisiting Intra-Household Allocation of Education Expenditure," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 143-164.

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