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Global Poverty Research Group

Intrahousehold welfare1

Marcel Fafchamps, Bereket Kebede, Agnes Quisumbing

Global Poverty Research Group

March 2006

SARPN acknowledges the ESRC Global Poverty Research Group as a source of this document:
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This paper investigates the determinants affecting the intrahousehold distribution of welfare in poor rural households. Using data from a detailed household survey, we show that many of thc factors commonly thought to affect intrahousehold welfare have no significant effect. In particular, access to independent income, control over current decisions and expenditures, and expectations regarding the disposition of assets upon divorce have no systematic effect on nutrition, health, or leisure time. In contrast, intellectual capacity is a strong predictor of nutritional and health status.

  1. We are very grateful to USAID for funding the data collection. We thank the Addis Ababa University survey team for fantastic data collection work, and John Maluccio, Elen Payongayong and Oscar Neidecker-Gonzales for their assistance in preparing the data for analysis. The support of the Economic and Social Research Council (UK) is gratefully acknowledged. The work was part of the programme of the ESRC Global Poverty Research Group.

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