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Food Spending by Female-Headed Households


  • Frazao, Elizabeth


The results of this study suggest that, on a per person basis, female-headed households spend less for food than do similar two-parent households. The presence of a male head influences food expenditures less than household income and education level of the female head. Low income and low education levels are two characteristics associated· with female-headed households. Female-headed households constitute a growing proportion of the total population, particularly of the population receiving food assistance. Identifying the causes for lower food expenditures among female-headed households should help programs aimed at increasing food expenditures among female-headed households. Analysis of expenditure patterns among 15 food categories reveals that the factors that influence a household's decision to purchase a particular food category differ from the factors that influence the decision of how much to spend for that food category. For this reason, the tobit model is rejected, and a two-step decision model is recommended.

Suggested Citation

  • Frazao, Elizabeth, 1992. "Food Spending by Female-Headed Households," Technical Bulletins 157029, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uerstb:157029

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kniesner, Thomas J & McElroy, Marjorie B & Wilcox, Steven P, 1988. "Getting into Poverty without a Husband, and Getting Out, With or Without," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 86-90, May.
    2. Beller, Andrea H & Graham, John W, 1988. "Child Support Payments: Evidence from Repeated Cross Sections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 81-85, May.
    3. Salathe, Larry E. & Buse, Rueben C., 1979. "Household Food Consumption Patterns in the United States," Technical Bulletins 158056, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    4. Cragg, John G, 1971. "Some Statistical Models for Limited Dependent Variables with Application to the Demand for Durable Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 829-844, September.
    5. Bassi, Laurie J, 1988. "Poverty among Women and Children: What Accounts for the Change?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 91-95, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Patrice Bertail & France Caillavet & Veronique Nichele, 1999. "A bootstrapped double hurdle analysis: consumption of home-produced food," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(12), pages 1631-1639.
    2. Jones, Eugene, 2001. "Agricultural Economics Research And Its Usefulness To Private Firms: Some Unsolicited Observations," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 32(01), March.


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