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Intrahousehold inequality and child gender bias in Ethiopia

  • Koohi-Kamali, Feridoon
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    The Rothbarth model of intrahousehold resource allocation has consistently failed to detect child gender bias in many applications over the past two decades. This paper challenges the current consensus that the Rothbarth method is not effective in revealing child gender bias from consumption behavior of adults. It proposes an approach to the Rothbarth model that restricts its application to samples of nuclear households, and employs an index of child gender based on the number of children in the household and related to a specific selective mechanism of discrimination. It demonstrates the effectiveness of this approach with an application to a 2005-06 Ethiopian consumption survey of 21,299 households conducted by Ethiopia's Statistical Authority, covering both urban and rural areas. The paper presents the first clear and extensive evidence of discrimination against girls by all four adult goods employed, and the outcome persists, in various degrees, when reexamined with a lower definition of child age, and with female-headed households. The findings provide support for gender-based policies in child-health and education in Ethiopia.

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    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4755.

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    Date of creation: 01 Oct 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4755
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    1. Robin Burgess & Juzhong Zhuang, 2000. "Modernisation and Son Preference," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 29, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
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    13. Cliff Attfield & Sonia R Bhalotra, 1998. "Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in Rural Pakistan: A Semi-parametric Analysis," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 11, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    14. Ping Zhang & Arthur van Soest & Xiaodong Gong, 2005. "The effects of the gender of children on expenditure patterns in rural China: a semiparametric analysis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 509-527.
    15. Case, Anne & Lin, I-Fen & McLanahan, Sara, 2000. "How Hungry Is the Selfish Gene?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 781-804, October.
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