Most empirical studies of poverty assume an equal sharing of resources between all household members. There is a growing body of research indicating that this assumption is not realistic. This paper explores how the unequal sharing of resources could potentially affect the measurement of poverty. Simulations based on micro-data from two countries, Italy and the United States, are carried out under the assumption that women 'lose' and men and children 'gain' because of unequal sharing in the household. The authors' findings suggest that, if there is significant intrahousehold inequality of this type as some writers have suggested, then conventional methods of poverty measurement will likely to lead to a serious underestimate (overestimate) of the incidence and intensity of female (male) poverty. Copyright 1996 by The International Association for Research in Income and Wealth.