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Consumption Patterns of Male and Female Headed Households in Pakistan: Evidence from PSLM 2007-08

Ashfaque H. Khan and Umer Khalid
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Ashfaque H. Khan: NUST Business School, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad
Umer Khalid: Industrial Policy Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Islamabad.

The Pakistan Development Review, 2012, vol. 51, issue 4, 465-478

Abstract: This study empirically tests for the homogeneity of household consumption patterns of male headed households (MHHs) and female headed households (FHHs) across Pakistan as well as explore the urban-rural variations within each set of households, using recent household survey data from PSLM 2007-08. The results indicate that consumption patterns are not homogeneous across male and female headed households at the national level and also exhibit variations across the urban/rural divide within the country. FHHs spend proportionately more on education, housing, fuel and lighting, clothing and footwear and household effects while having lower average spending on food and drinks and transport and communications, compared to their male headed counterparts. The analysis of consumption behaviour of MHHs and FHHs by expenditure quintiles shows that the Engel’s Law is validated as share of household expenditures on food and drinks declines with improvement in the economic status for both set of households. It is moreover seen that FHHs have comparatively higher budgetary shares for education and healthcare across all expenditure quintiles compared to the MHHs. In terms of marginal expenditure shares, MHHs have highest spending at the margin on housing, durables and food and drinks, while FHHs’ marginal expenditures are highest for durables, followed by housing and food and drinks. It is further observed that FHHs have a higher marginal spending on education and durables in comparison to their male counterparts, with this results being consistent in the urban-rural areas as well.

Date: 2012
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