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Understanding Pareto Inefficient Intrahousehold Allocations

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  • Akresh, Richard

    () (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Abstract

Udry (1996) uses household survey data and finds that the allocation of resources within households is Pareto inefficient, contradicting the main assumption of most collective models of intrahousehold bargaining. He finds that among plots planted with the same crop in the same year, within a given household, those controlled by women produce lower yields than the men's plots. This paper challenges that finding. Using an alternative nationally representative dataset, I find that only households in regions geographically proximate to those studied by Udry exhibit Pareto inefficient intrahousehold allocations, while the rest of the country reveals no evidence of Pareto inefficiencies. Households in regions experiencing negative rainfall shocks are on average less likely to exhibit Pareto inefficient intrahousehold allocations, and these negative rainfall shocks are correlated with increases in labor resources allocated to the wife’s plots, further confirming that in bad years, households try to avoid losses from Pareto inefficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Akresh, Richard, 2005. "Understanding Pareto Inefficient Intrahousehold Allocations," IZA Discussion Papers 1858, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1858
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    Cited by:

    1. List, John A. & Rasul, Imran, 2011. "Field Experiments in Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    2. Arturo Aguilar & Eliana Carranza & Markus Goldstein & Talip Kilic & Gbemisola Oseni, 2015. "Decomposition of gender differentials in agricultural productivity in Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 46(3), pages 311-334, May.
    3. Kilic, Talip & Palacios-López, Amparo & Goldstein, Markus, 2015. "Caught in a Productivity Trap: A Distributional Perspective on Gender Differences in Malawian Agriculture," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 416-463.
    4. Palacios-López, Amparo & López, Ramon E., 2014. "Gender Differences in Agricultural Productivity: The Role of Market Imperfections," Working Papers 164061, University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    5. R. Wendy Karamba & Paul C. Winters, 2015. "Gender and agricultural productivity: implications of the Farm Input Subsidy Program in Malawi," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 46(3), pages 357-374, May.
    6. Collins, Julia C. & Foltz, Jeremy D., 2013. "Gender Production Differentials In Africa," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150130, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. Talip Kilic & Paul Winters & Calogero Carletto, 2015. "Gender and agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa: introduction to the special issue," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 46(3), pages 281-284, May.
    8. Suresh de Mel & David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2009. "Are Women More Credit Constrained? Experimental Evidence on Gender and Microenterprise Returns," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 1-32, July.
    9. Bereket Kebede & Marcela Tarazona & Alistair Munro & Arjan Verschoor, 2014. "Intra-household Efficiency: An Experimental Study from Ethiopia," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 23(1), pages 105-150.
    10. Larson,Donald F. & Savastano,Sara & Murray,Siobhan & Palacios-Lopez,Amparo, 2015. "Are women less productive farmers ? how markets and risk affect fertilizer use, productivity, and measured gender effects in Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7241, The World Bank.
    11. Andre Croppenstedt & Markus Goldstein & Nina Rosas, 2013. "Gender and Agriculture: Inefficiencies, Segregation, and Low Productivity Traps," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 28(1), pages 79-109, February.
    12. Jonathan Robinson, 2012. "Limited Insurance within the Household: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 140-164, October.
    13. Gustavo J. Bobonis & Melissa González-Brenes & Roberto Castro, 2013. "Public Transfers and Domestic Violence: The Roles of Private Information and Spousal Control," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 179-205, February.
    14. Muraoka, Rie & Matsumoto, Tomoya & Jin, Songqing & Otsuka, Keijiro, 2015. "On the Possibility of a Maize Green Revolution in the Highlands of Kenya: An Assessment of Emerging Intensive Farming Systems," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212033, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    15. Utteeyo Dasgupta & Subha Mani, 2013. "Only Mine or All Ours: An Artefactual Field Experiment on Procedural Altruism," Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series dp2013-01, Fordham University, Department of Economics.
    16. Nava Ashraf, 2009. "Spousal Control and Intra-household Decision Making: An Experimental Study in the Philippines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1245-1277, September.
    17. Vanya Slavchevska, 2015. "Gender differences in agricultural productivity: the case of Tanzania," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 46(3), pages 335-355, May.
    18. Mukasa Adamon N. & Adeleke Oluwole Salami, 2016. "Working Paper 231 - Gender productivity differentials among smallholder farmers in Africa: A cross-country comparison," Working Paper Series 2324, African Development Bank.
    19. Peterman, Amber & Quisumbing, Agnes & Behrman, Julia & Nkonya, Ephraim, 2010. "Understanding gender differences in agricultural productivity in Uganda and Nigeria," IFPRI discussion papers 1003, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    20. de la O Campos, Ana Paula & Covarrubias, Katia Alejandra & Prieto Patron, Alberto, 2016. "How Does the Choice of the Gender Indicator Affect the Analysis of Gender Differences in Agricultural Productivity? Evidence from Uganda," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 17-33.
    21. Palacios-Lopez,Amparo & López,Ramón, 2015. "Market imperfections exacerbate the gender gap: the case of Malawi," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7300, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    intrahousehold allocation; collective household models; Pareto efficiency; Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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