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When Father Doesn't Know Best: Parents’ Management and Control of Money and Children’s Food Insecurity

  • Catherine T. Kenney

    (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

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    Although developing-country research has found that spending on children's food, healthcare, and education varies depending on which parent controls income, developed-country research on child wellbeing tends to ignore intrahousehold allocation. This study uses data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 820 couples) to analyze how mothers' versus fathers' control of money affects U.S. children's food insecurity. Results show children are least likely to experience food insecurity when parents’ income is pooled and controlled by their mother and most likely to do so when parents’ income is pooled and controlled by their father. Surprisingly, children also fare worse when parents’ pooled income is jointly controlled—the system considered the norm for married-parent households in the United States.

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    File URL: http://crcw.princeton.edu/workingpapers/WP07-04-FF.pdf
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    Paper provided by Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing. in its series Working Papers with number 24.

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    Date of creation: Apr 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:pri:crcwel:wp07-04-ff
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    1. Shelly Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak, 1996. "Bargaining and Distribution in Marriage," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 139-158, Fall.
    2. Nord, Mark & Andrews, Margaret S. & Carlson, Steven, 2006. "Household Food Security in the United States, 2005," Economic Research Report 7243, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Djebbari, Habiba, 2005. "The Impact on Nutrition of the Intrahousehold Distribution of Power," IZA Discussion Papers 1701, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Reichman, Nancy E. & Teitler, Julien O. & Garfinkel, Irwin & McLanahan, Sara S., 2001. "Fragile Families: sample and design," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 303-326.
    5. Ribar, David C. & Hamrick, Karen S., 2003. "Dynamics Of Poverty And Food Sufficiency," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33851, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    6. Esther Duflo & Christopher Udry, 2004. "Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in Cote d'Ivoire: Social Norms, Separate Accounts and Consumption Choices," NBER Working Papers 10498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Hoddinott, John & Haddad, Lawrence, 1995. "Does Female Income Share Influence Household Expenditures? Evidence from Cote d'Ivoire," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 77-96, February.
    8. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & de la Briere, Benedicte, 2000. "Women's assets and intrahousehold allocation in rural Bangladesh," FCND briefs 86, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Nord, Mark & Bickel, Gary, 2002. "Measuring Children'S Food Security In U.S. Households, 1995-99," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33801, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    10. Phipps, S.A. & Burton, P.S., 1992. "What's Mine is Yours?: The Influence of Male and Female Incomes on Patterns of Household Expenditure," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive 92-12, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
    11. Jennifer Ward-Batts, 2008. "Out of the Wallet and into the Purse: Using Micro Data to Test Income Pooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(2), pages 325-351.
    12. Thomas, D., 1989. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Papers 586, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    13. Pahl, Jan, 1995. "His money, her money: Recent research on financial organisation in marriage," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 361-376, September.
    14. Shelly J. Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak & Terence J. Wales, 1997. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from the United Kingdom Child Benefit," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 463-480.
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