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New Evidence on Intra-Household Allocation of Resources in Japanese Households


  • HORI Masahiro
  • MITSUYAMA Nahoko


This paper examines intra-household allocation of resources to gain insight into family relationships and gender bias in Japanese household expenditures. We take the Engel curve approach to examine how adult consumption is affected by the presence of a child, either a boy or a girl, in the family. Empowered by diary-based high quality spending data from the Family Income and Expenditure Survey, our empirical results show that adult consumption is significantly reduced in households with children; further, there is no evidence of gender discrimination between boys and girls in terms of the outlay equivalent ratios representing a reduction of the total amount of expenditure for adult goods, while responses of adult clothing expenses to the presence of a child are different between the case of a boy and that of a girl: spending on a father’s clothing is reduced when the child is a school-age daughter, while spending on a mother’s clothing decreases when a school-age son is in the home. Our analysis also shows that girls receive a larger share of spending for children’s clothing as well as for high school education than boys in recent years. Key words: Intra-household resource allocation, Family relationships, Gender bias, Japan. JEL Classification Codes: J16; D12; D13.

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  • HORI Masahiro & MITSUYAMA Nahoko & SHIMIZUTANI Satoshi, 2015. "New Evidence on Intra-Household Allocation of Resources in Japanese Households," ESRI Discussion paper series 321, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:esj:esridp:321

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Gibson & Scott Rozelle, 2004. "Is it Better to be a Boy? A Disaggregated Outlay Equivalent Analysis of Gender Bias in Papua New Guinea," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(4), pages 115-136.
    2. Geoffrey Lancaster & Pushkar Maitra & Ranjan Ray, 2008. "Household Expenditure Patterns and Gender Bias: Evidence from Selected Indian States," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 133-157.
    3. Ono, Hiroshi, 2004. "Are sons and daughters substitutable?: Allocation of family resources in contemporary Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 143-160, June.
    4. Wakabayashi, Midori & Horioka, Charles Yuji, 2009. "Is the eldest son different? The residential choice of siblings in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 337-348, December.
    5. James Andreoni & Lise Vesterlund, 2001. "Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 293-312.
    6. Lee, Yiu-fai Daniel, 2008. "Do families spend more on boys than on girls? Empirical evidence from rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 80-100, March.
    7. Monazza Aslam & Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 2008. "Gender and household education expenditure in Pakistan," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(20), pages 2573-2591.
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    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation

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