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

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  • Catherine T. Kenney

    (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine T. Kenney, 2007. "When Father Doesn't Know Best: Parents' Management and Control of Money and Children's Food Insecurity," Working Papers 24, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:crcwel:wp07-04-ff.pdf
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