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GENDER POVERTY IN TUNISIA: IS THERE A FEMINIZATION ISSUE?

Sami Bibi () and Rim Chatti
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Sami Bibi: Economic Research Forum, PEP-Network, CIRPEE, Department of Economics, University of Laval, Quebec, Canada
Rim Chatti: Economic Research Forum, PEP-Network IHEC, Tunis, Tunisia

Middle East Development Journal (MEDJ), 2010, vol. 02, issue 02, 283-307

Abstract: The paper investigates the association between gender and poverty in Tunisia based upon an empirical analysis of 1990 and 2000 household surveys. It also tests whether or not there is a widespread feminization of poverty. To achieve these goals, the paper suggests a theoretically sound method to compute expenditure-based incidence of poverty and tests for differences in the headcount ratio between female- and male-headed households for a given period and whether or not this difference is increasing over time. Stochastic dominance tests are also performed to avoid arbitrary choices of poverty lines and indices. The results suggest that although female-headed households are subject to unequal treatment in the labor market, they are not poorer than their male counterparts, as they live with more active persons. However, as we increase the poverty line, the poverty difference between female- and male-headed households rises to the detriment of female-headed households and becomes statistically significant. However, what is more disquieting is that this difference increases over time due to the fall in both the level of and the returns to female labor endowment.

Keywords: Poverty; gender; Oaxaca–Blinder decomposition; Tunisia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
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DOI: 10.1142/S1793812010000265

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