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Women's decision making power and human development : evidence from Pakistan

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  • Hou, Xiaohui

Abstract

When deciding who should receive welfare benefits with the aim to increase household well-being, it is necessary to understand the effects of the distribution of power within the households at which the aid is directed. Two primary household models have been used to study intra-household bargaining and decision making: the unitary model and the collective model. The unitary model seems to fit Pakistan's context because the prevailing traditional culture positions the male head as the household decision maker. However, using a set of direct measures of decision-making power from the Pakistan Social and Living Standard Measurement Survey, this study finds that even in a country where men seem to have more power than women, the collective household bargaining model applies. This study also finds that, in Pakistan, when women have more decision-making power at home, households tend to spend more on women's preferred goods (such as clothing and education), family members eat more non-grain food items, and children, particularly girls, are more likely to be enrolled in school.

Suggested Citation

  • Hou, Xiaohui, 2011. "Women's decision making power and human development : evidence from Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5830, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5830
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nuzhat Ahmad & Huma Khan, 2016. "Measuring Women’s Disempowerment in Agriculture in Pakistan," Working Papers id:10150, eSocialSciences.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Anthropology; Primary Education; Gender and Law; Rural Development Knowledge&Information Systems; Gender and Health;

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