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Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household

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  • Udry, Christopher

Abstract

Virtually all models of the household assume that the allocation of resources is Pareto efficient. Within many African households, agricultural production occurs on many plots controlled by different members of the household. Pareto efficiency implies that factors should be allocated efficiently across these plots. The author finds, in contrast, that plots controlled by women are farmed much less intensively than similar plots within the household controlled by men. The estimates imply that about 6 percent of output is lost because of inefficient factor allocation within the household. The paper suggests a new approach to modeling intrahousehold allocation consistent with the empirical results. Copyright 1996 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Udry, Christopher, 1996. "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1010-1046, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:104:y:1996:i:5:p:1010-46
    DOI: 10.1086/262050
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas, C. & Shaw, C., 1992. "Issues in the Development of Multigrade Schools," Papers 172, World Bank - Technical Papers.
    2. Manser, Marilyn & Brown, Murray, 1980. "Marriage and Household Decision-Making: A Bargaining Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 31-44, February.
    3. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert A, 1993. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 988-1010, December.
    4. Kanbur, Ravi & Haddad, Lawrence, 1994. "Are Better Off Households More Unequal or Less Unequal?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(3), pages 445-458, July.
    5. Collier, Paul, 1983. "Malfunctioning of African Rural Factor Markets: Theory and a Kenyan Example," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 45(2), pages 141-172, May.
    6. Binswanger, Hans P & McIntire, John, 1987. "Behavioral and Material Determinants of Production Relations in Land-Abundant Tropical Agriculture," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 73-99, October.
    7. Udry, Christopher & Hoddinott, John & Alderman, Harold & Haddad, Lawrence, 1995. "Gender differentials in farm productivity: implications for household efficiency and agricultural policy," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 407-423, October.
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