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Whose Fast and Whose Feast? Intrahousehold Asymmetries in Dietary Diversity Response Among East African Pastoralists

Kira M. Villa, Christopher Barrett () and David Just

American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 2011, vol. 93, issue 4, 1062-1081

Abstract: This article explores intrahousehold dietary diversity allocation within pastoralist households in eastern Africa. We estimate income elasticities of dietary diversity for demographic cohorts allowing asymmetric behavior depending on household circumstances. We find that household heads disproportionately bear the nutritional burden when household income is below mean, while other cohorts disproportionately enjoy the nutritional gains when it is above mean. The commonly assumed symmetric framework masks this intrahousehold behavior and produces biased elasticity estimates. Stochastic dominance tests show adult daughters as better-off than other household members in their dietary diversity, sons as worse off, and little difference between male heads and their wives. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

Date: 2011
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