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

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  • Jean Dreze

    (Delhi School of Economics)

  • P.V. Srinivasan

    (Delhi School of Economics)

Abstract

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
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    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.

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