Concepts, Research, Policy
Elgar original reference
Edited by Sylvia Chant
Chapter 23: Gender and Household Decision-making in Developing Countries: A Review of Evidence
Agnes R. Quisumbing Many decisions that affect the well-being of individuals are made within families or households. Although the internally differentiated household was described, analysed, and widely accepted in mainstream anthropology from the mid-1970s, it took at least a decade for mainstream development economists to take notice. Challenges from economists to the traditional model of household behaviour and proposals of alternative models that bear closer resemblance to reality came from studies in the 1980s that suggested that men and women systematically spend income under their control in different ways. Since the 1990s, four factors have contributed to the tremendous growth of research on intrahousehold issues: (1) the development of new models of household decision-making, (2) an increased awareness that paying attention to intrahousehold allocation matters in the design and implementation of development policy, (3) the growing availability of data from developing and developed countries with which to test alternative household models, and (4) the use of qualitative methods, arising from increased collaboration with anthropologists and other social scientists, to understand non-economic dimensions of human behaviour. These studies have contributed to the rejection of the traditional paradigm of the unitary model of household behaviour in favour of the collective model. Unitary versus collective household models1 The unitary model characterises the household as a group of individuals who behave as if they agree on how best to combine time and purchased goods to maximise household welfare. Thus, either all members of the household share the same preferences or a (selfinterested or altruistic)...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.