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Looking for Boy-Girl Discrimination in Household Expenditure Data

Angus Deaton ()

World Bank Economic Review, 1989, vol. 3, issue 1, 1-15

Abstract: The ability to test for discrimination in the allocation of goods between boys and girls is hampered by a lack of data on intrahousehold distribution. The analysis presented here allows inferences about intrahousehold allocation to be made from household-level expenditure data. For a given level of income, families with children will spend less on adult goods in order to purchase children's goods. If household purchasing favors boys over girls, smaller expenditures on adult goods would be made by families with boys as compared with those with girls. A method for determining "adult" goods is described, and the procedure for detecting gender bias is applied to data from the Ivory Coast and Thailand. The data show no evidence of discrimination between boys and girls in the Ivory Coast, and a small and statistically insignificant bias in favor of boys in Thailand. Copyright 1989 by Oxford University Press.

Date: 1989
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