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Gains féminins, allocation des biens et statut nutritionnel des enfants au Burkina Faso

The objective of the present study is to provide an econometric test to the relative validity of collective and unitary household behavior models, with the help of data of the 1994_95 Burkina Faso household survey. Obtained results seem to justify conclusions of noncooperative approach where the well_being of the group is partly function of the identity of the income earner, the African anthropological literature and what one observes commonly as for the functioning of households on this continent. On the one hand, the estimation of demand functions indicates that the share of wives income influences significantly, positively food expenses and energy, and negatively expenses to cigarettes, tobacco and moving household equipment.The analysis shows that there would be no variation in food household expense if total expenses fell by 2,6 percent, with respect to the average provided this was accompagnied by re_allocating all incomes to wives. On the other hand, reduced nutrition equations suggest that, all others things being equal, more the share of woman income of household grows, more the probability of malnutrition - height-for-age, weight-for-age and weight-for-height- of children of less of 60 month decreases. Furthermore, while the geographical location, the education of mothers, the structure by age of children and the access to collective health services and education influence the nutrition of children, coefficients of the weight_for_age and the chronic malnutrition appear statistically different according to the gender, and suggest an differential effect to the advantage of boys inherent to the share of wives income. Although of considerations of equity and efficiency could justify this situation, the adherence to rules of the game of the traditional society institutions is probably an explanation more convincing than the foundation in pure rationality terms, even if the connection between the two has to be kept in mind. Results of the present researches have economic policy implications, to the extent of the modification of intra_household distribution of income is a means to increase food expenses, to reduce relative expenses to the tobacco and to raise the nutritional status of children - although, in this last case, boys are relatively more favored than girls. Similarly, the increase of women education and the extension of collective goods concerning health and education, notably in rural areas, constitute powerful factors susceptible to contribute to a best antrhopometric status ofchildren. (Full text in French)

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Paper provided by Groupe d'Economie du Développement de l'Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV in its series Documents de travail with number 28.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Oct 1998
Handle: RePEc:mon:ceddtr:28
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