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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Economic Development and Cultural Change
Title Is risk fully pooled within the household? Evidence from Ghana
Volume 50
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2001
Page numbers 101-130
URL http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/340009
Intrahousehold analyses provide new insights into how households make economic decisions. Traditionally, much of the work in economics has treated the household as a single economic actor, but a number of studies have shown that household members pursue competing economic objectives. In this article, I take a further step toward examining the complexities of intrahousehold relations. Specifically, using detailed household survey data from Ghana, I ask whether household members pool risk. To investigate this question, I ask whether the transitory incomes of individual household members—as opposed to their permanent incomes—affect household expenditure patterns.The intrahousehold literature provides evidence that households do not pool all of their income. Recent analyses suggest that income earned by women has a different effect on household expenditure patterns than income earned by men. Several studies provide evidence against a “unified” model of the household by demonstrating that women’s unearned income affects household labor or resource allocation decisions in ways different from men’s unearned income.3 C. Udry finds non-Pareto efficient production outcomes for households in Burkina Faso, which suggests that households do not make unified production decisions.

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