Gender differences in household resource allocations

Type Working Paper - Living standards measurement study (LSMS) working paper
Title Gender differences in household resource allocations
Issue 79
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1991
Using household survey data from the United States, Brazil and Ghana, we examine the relationship between parental education and child height, an indicator of health and nutritional status. In all three countries, the education of the mother has a bigger effect on her daughter's height; paternal education, in contrast, has a bigger impact on his son's height. There are, apparently differences in the allocation of household resources depending on the gender of the child and these differences vary with the gender of the parent. In Ghana, relative to other women, the education of a woman who is better educated than her husband has a bigger impact on the height of her daughter than her son. In Brazil women's non-labor income has a positive impact on the health of her daughter but not on her son's health. If relative education of parents and non-labor income are indicators of power in a household bargaining game, then these results suggest that gender differences in resource allocations reflect both technological differences in child-rearing and differences in the preferences of parents.

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