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Women's Role in the Agricultural Household: Bargaining and Human Capital

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  • T. Paul Schultz

    () (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

Abstract

This paper reviews the methods and empirical findings from economic analyses of women's contribution to social welfare and the determinants of their human capital. To understand better women's roles in agricultural households, three themes have gained prominence in the economics literature. First is the conceptualization of the unified family as coordinator of production and consumption over the lifecycle. Second is the role of separability of production and consumption decisions in the agricultural household that depends on the equivalence of hired and of family labor and the existence of competitive factor markets. Third, is the exploration of individualistic Nash-bargaining or Pareto efficient collective coordination within the family that preserves the distinct preferences of individuals to be expressed in behavioral variation across families. The changing bargaining power of men and women is traced primarily to the increasing investment in women's human capital, in the forms of nutrition, health, schooling, mobility and family planning. This reduction in the gender gap in human capital is shown to be closely related to declines in mortality, fertility, and population growth in most studied populations and may importantly affect the intrahousehold distribution of resources.

Suggested Citation

  • T. Paul Schultz, 1999. "Women's Role in the Agricultural Household: Bargaining and Human Capital," Working Papers 803, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:803
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    File URL: http://www.econ.yale.edu/growth_pdf/cdp803.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. T. Paul Schultz, 2006. "Does the Liberalization of Trade Advance Gender Equality in Schooling and Health?," Working Papers 935, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    2. Nistha Sinha & Joanne K. Yoong, 2009. "Long-Term Financial Incentives and Investment in Daughters Evidence From Conditional Cash Transfers In North India," Working Papers WR-667, RAND Corporation.
    3. Adebayo B. Aromolaran, 2004. "Female Schooling, Non-Market Productivity, and Labor Market Participation in Nigeria," Working Papers 879, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    4. Sinha, Nistha & Yoong, Joanne, 2009. "Long-term financial incentives and investment in daughters : evidence from conditional cash transfers in north India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4860, The World Bank.
    5. Boris E. Bravo-Ureta & Daniel SolĂ­s & Horacio Cocchi & Ricardo E. Quiroga, 2006. "The impact of soil conservation and output diversification on farm income in Central American hillside farming," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 35(3), pages 267-276, November.
    6. Deininger, Klaus & Castagnini, Raffaella, 2006. "Incidence and impact of land conflict in Uganda," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 321-345, July.
    7. Shareen Joshi, 2004. "Female Household-Headship in Rural Bangladesh: Incidence, Determinants and Impact on Children's Schooling Shareen Joshi," Working Papers 894, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    8. Chang, Yang-Ming & Huang, Biing-Wen & Chen, Yun-Ju, 2012. "Labor supply, income, and welfare of the farm household," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 427-437.
    9. Findeis, Jill L., 2002. "Subjective Equilibrium Theory of the Farm Household: Theory Revisited and New Directions," Workshop on the Farm Household-Firm Unit: Its Importance in Agriculture and Implications for Statistics, April 12-13,2002, Wye Campus, Imperial College 15723, International Agricultural Policy Reform and Adjustment Project (IAPRAP).
    10. Sinha, Nistha & Yoong, Joanne, 2009. "Long-term financial incentives and investment in daughters : evidence from conditional cash transfers in north India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4860, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General

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