Olivier Bargain on intra-household allocation and individual poverty

WIDER Seminar Series

Olivier Bargain on intra-household allocation and individual poverty

Olivier Bargain will present at the WIDER Seminar Series on 28 August 2019. 

Abstract – Intra-household allocation and individual poverty

Welfare analyses conducted by policy practitioners around the world usually rely on equivalized or per capita expenditure and ignore the extent of within-household inequality. Recent advances in the estimation of collective models suggest ways to retrieve the complete sharing process within families. So far, the prediction of these models has not been validated, essentially because intra-household allocation is seldom observed. We provide such a validation by leveraging a unique dataset from Bangladesh, which contains information on the fully individualized expenditure of each family member.

We can also test the alternative identifying assumptions used in the literature, notably the assumption of preferences stability – upon exclusive goods – across family types. It turns out that the collective model predicts the determinants and the levels of individual resource shares reasonably well, especially when using clothing as the exclusive good – a good commonly available in standard expenditure surveys. It also yields relatively accurate measures of poverty at the individual level, while the traditional approach understates poverty among the poorest individuals.

About the speaker

Olivier is Professor of Economics at the University of Bordeaux and member of the 'Institut Universitaire de France'. He is also a Research Fellow at IZA and LISER. His research covers topics in public & labor economics, development & family economics, wine & international economics. He is currently associate editor of the Journal of Economic Inequality, and previously coeditor of the book series Research in Labor Economics. He is a member of the Council of Economic Advisors to the French Prime Minister. 

WIDER Seminar Series

The WIDER Seminar Series showcases recent and ongoing work on key topics in development economics. The weekly sessions held in Helsinki are open to local and visiting researchers, policy makers, and others interested in development topics. Click here to learn more.

Seminars will be live streamed on Facebook and recordings and presentations will be available after the event here.

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