Out of West Africa: Evidence on the Efficient Allocation of Resources within Farm Households
Previous contributions to the literature have used data on agricultural production activities in West Africa to show that plots of land managed by women are less productive (on average) than the ones farmed by their husbands. This would seem to indicate a rejection of the intrahousehold efficiency/cooperation hypothesis. The present study re-examines the decision process within such households and, by contrasting choices related to production and the allocation of resources towards consumption, empirically examines restrictions derived from a Pareto-efficient model. The evidence presented strongly suggests that heterogeneity of preferences within farm households does not preclude an efficient allocation of family resources.
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