IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Widowhood And Poverty In Rural India: Some Inferences From Household Survey Data


  • Jean Dreze

    (Delhi School of Economics)

  • P.V. Srinivasan

    (Delhi School of Economics)


This paper examines the relationship between widowhood and poverty in rural India, based on National Sample Survey data on consumer expenditure. In terms of standard poverty indices based on household per-capita expenditure, there is no evidence of widows being disproportionately concentrated in poor households, or of female-headed households being poorer than male-headed households. These findings also apply in terms of adult-equivalent consumption, for any reasonable choice of equivalence scales. Poverty indices for different household types, however, are quite sensitive to the level of economies of scale in household consumption. Even relatively small economies of scale imply that the incidence of poverty among single widows, living with unmarried children, and female household heads (all of whom tend to live in relatively small households) is higher than in the population as a whole.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean Dreze & P.V. Srinivasan, 1995. "Widowhood And Poverty In Rural India: Some Inferences From Household Survey Data," Working papers 33, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cde:cdewps:33

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Milanovic, Branko & Jovanovic, Branko, 1999. "Change in the perception of the poverty line during times of depression : Russia 1993-96," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2077, The World Bank.
    2. Dreze, Jean & Srinivasan, P. V., 1997. "Widowhood and poverty in rural India: Some inferences from household survey data," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 217-234, December.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cde:cdewps:33. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sanjeev Sharma). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.