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Sharing the Pie: An Analysis of Undernutrition and Individual Consumption in Bangladesh

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  • Calvi, Rossella
  • Brown, Caitlin
  • Penglase, Jacob

Abstract

Anti-poverty policies often aim to reach poor individuals by targeting poor households. However, intra-household inequality may mean some poor individuals reside in non-poor households. Using Bangladeshi data, we first show that undernourished individuals are spread across the household per-capita expenditure distribution. We then quantify the extent of total consumption inequality within families. We apply a novel approach to identify individual-level consumption within a collective household model and use the structural estimates to compute poverty rates separately for women, men, boys, girls, and the elderly. We find that women (especially older women) and children (later-born children in particular) face significant probabilities of living in poverty even in households with per-capita expenditure above the poverty line. This poverty misclassification is severe, as one third of poor individuals in our sample live in non-poor families.

Suggested Citation

  • Calvi, Rossella & Brown, Caitlin & Penglase, Jacob, 2021. "Sharing the Pie: An Analysis of Undernutrition and Individual Consumption in Bangladesh," CEPR Discussion Papers 15925, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:15925
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    3. Brown,Caitlin Susan & Kandpal,Eeshani & Lee,Jean Nahrae & Williams,Anaise Marie, 2022. "Unequal Households or Communities ? Decomposing the Inequality in Nutritional Status in South Asia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 10009, The World Bank.
    4. Beltramo, Theresa P. & Calvi, Rossella & De Giorgi, Giacomo & Sarr, Ibrahima, 2023. "Child poverty among refugees," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 171(C).
    5. Brown, Caitlin & Ravallion, Martin & van de Walle, Dominique, 2023. "Child health and the housing environment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 168(C).
    6. Ulugbek Aminjonov & Olivier Bargain & Maira Colacce & Luca Tiberti, 2022. "Culture, Intra-household Distribution and Individual Poverty," Working Papers - Economics wp2022_21.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
    7. Zhao, Chuanmin & Qu, Xi, 2024. "Place-based policies, rural employment, and intra-household resources allocation: Evidence from China’s economic zones," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 167(C).
    8. Dizon,Felipe Jr Fadullon & Josephson,Anna Leigh & Wang,Zetianyu, 2022. "Intra-Household Inequality in Food Consumption and Diets in the Philippines," Policy Research Working Paper Series 10170, The World Bank.
    9. Bose-Duker,Theophiline & Gaddis,Isis & Kilic,Talip & Lechene,Valérie & Pendakur,Krishna, 2021. "Diamonds in the Rough? : Repurposing Multi-Topic Surveys to Estimate Individual-Level Consumption Poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9661, The World Bank.
    10. Caitlin Brown & Rossella Calvi & Jacob Penglase & Denni Tommasi, 2022. "Measuring poverty within the household," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 492-492, May.
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    12. Marek Šedivý, 2023. "Mortality shocks and household consumption: the case of Mexico," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 1289-1358, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intra-household resource allocation; Poverty; Collective model; Undernutrition; Bangladesh;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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