Headship and poverty in Africa

Brown, Caitlin and van de Walle, Dominique (2021) Headship and poverty in Africa. World Bank Economic Review, 35 (4). pp. 1038-1056. ISSN 0258-6770, DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/wber/lhaa024.

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Standard welfare comparisons between female-headed households (FHHs) and male-headed households (MHHs) have largely ignored two confounding factors: marital status (affecting access to assets and markets) and heterogeneity in household demographics (with bearing on economies of scale in consumption). Both influence welfare and are correlated with sex of headship. As judged by the usual per capita welfare measures, FHHs have lower poverty rates than MHHs in Africa. However, even a modest adjustment for economies of scale in consumption changes the poverty comparisons, with FHHs faring significantly worse overall in East, Central, and Southern Africa. Marital status also matters: the households of female heads are poorer than MHHs except when the female head is married. Taking the head's marital status and the household's demographics into account is critical to the association between female headship and welfare outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Female-headed households;Gender;Poverty;Scale economies;Africa;Marital status
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Depositing User: Ms Zaharah Ramly
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2022 03:37
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2022 03:37
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/35375

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