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close this bookToward Gender Equality: The Role of Public Policy (WB, 1995, 88 p.)
close this folderChapter two
View the documentGender Inequalities Hamper Growth
View the documentHousehold and Intrahousehold Resource Allocation
View the documentLinkages between Education Health, and Nutritious
View the documentHousehold and Labor Market Linkages
View the documentFormal Sector Employment
View the documentInformal Sector
View the documentAccess to Financial Markets
View the documentAccess to Lund and Property
View the documentAccess to Extension Services
View the documentConclusion

Household and Intrahousehold Resource Allocation

In recent years, attempts to explain persistent gender inequalities in the accumulation and use of human capital have focused on the key role of household decisionmaking and tile process of resource allocation within household Households do not make decisions in isolation. however: their decision are linked to market prices and incentives and are influenced by cultural legal and state institutions. These institutions indirectly affect not only the returns on household investment but also access to productive resources and employment outside the house hold.

Household decisions about the allocation of resources have a profound effect on the schooling, health care, and nutrition children receive. The mechanisms used to make these decisions and the effect of the decisions on the well-being of individual household members are not fully understood. Two frameworks for thinking about household decisions are the unitary household model and the collective household model (see box 3.1)

BOX 2.1

Two models of household members having their own prefer decisionmaking encase. Decisions on allocating resources reflect market rates of return. The unitary household model assumes but they also mirror the relative bar that household members pool regaining power of household members sources and allocate them according within the collective (Manser and to a common set of objectives and Brown 1980: McElroy and Homey goals. Households maximize the joint 1981). Bargaining power is a function welfare of their members by allocating of social and cultural norms. as well income and other resources to the in as of such external factors as opposed individuals and enterprises that promise "unities for paid work, laws governing the highest rate of return as reflected inheritance, and control over producing prices and wages. An increase initiative assets and property rights. These household income increases the well factors influence the terms governing being of all household members.

Policy interventions based on the sources and decisions about how unitary household model aim to in those resources are used within the crease household welfare, but they household. Thus, an increase in do not necessarily affect all household income may benefit some hold members in the same way. Some household members but leave others household members may be worse unaffected or worse off. The outcome off, for example, if they lose control depends on a member's ability to exover certain resources; others may excise control over resources both in be better off. in which case house-side and outside the household, and it hold welfare is not maximized. cannot be assumed that individual well

Under the collective household being increases as household income model. the welfare of individual house-rises. (Collective household models do hold members is not synonymous with not exclude the possibility that the universal household welfare. Resources unitary model may be the best approximate not necessarily pooled, and the motion of household decisionmaking household acts as a collective, with in some contexts.)

The collective household model helps explain why gender inequalities persist even though household becomes increase over time The next sections adopt a collective household framework to explain how these inequalities exact costs in forgone productivity, seduced welfare for individuals and households, encl. ultimately. slower economic growth.(fender Inequalities in Human Capital )

There are strong complementaires between education. health. and nutrition on the one hand, and increased well-being, labor productivity, and growth. On the other. Inequalities in resource allocation that limit household members' educational opportunities. access to health care, or nutrition are costly to individuals, households, and the economy as a whole.