Drug Consumption and Intra-Household Distribution of Resources: The Case of Qat in an African Society
This paper estimates the rule governing the intra-household resource allocation between the husband and the wife representing children’s interests using 1996 data for the African society of Djibouti. In the Horn of Africa the consumption of qat (a substance similar to amphetamine) is an expensive habit of the male population. We estimate the sharing rule to understand the relationship between the use of qat and the allocation of household resources. Qat is perceived as a desirable good by the consumers but is also a private bad because harmful to the personal health. Further, its consumption implies a trade-off between the consumption of adult males and the claims over resources of the party formed by the female adults and the children. The study uses a structural estimation of the sharing rule within a collective system of individual demands. The results show that households where qat is consumed share resources more unequally with respect to households where qat is not consumed.
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