Gender Bias and the Intrahousehold Distribution of Resources: Evidence from African Nuclear Households in South Africa
This paper applies recent developments in collective model estimation to elicit the allocation of resources in African families in South Africa.
We use the 2010/11 South African Income and Expenditure Survey as it contains exclusive goods, i.e., goods consumed by specific household members, to be used for identification. We rely on a consumption model that accounts for (potentially unequal) resource sharing and jointness in consumption (generating economies of scale).
Results indicate that men tend to receive more than women (even if imprecise estimates make the difference statistically insignificant), leading to sharp gender differences in terms of poverty. Ignoring economies of scale leads to an overestimation of poverty among adult men and women living with others. Children’s resource shares are in line with international standards but household resources are relatively low among African families so that ignoring intrahousehold allocation leads to an underestimation of child poverty.