Intrahousehold Bargaining and Resource Allocation in Developing Countries

43 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Cheryl R. Doss

Cheryl R. Doss

University of Oxford - Department of International Development

Date Written: January 1, 2013

Abstract

Many key development outcomes depend on women's ability to negotiate favorable intrahousehold allocations of resources. Yet it has been difficult to clearly identify which policies can increase women's bargaining power and result in better outcomes. This paper reviews both the analytical frameworks and the empirical evidence on the importance of women's bargaining power. It argues that there is sufficient evidence from rigorous studies to conclude that women's bargaining power does affect outcomes. But in many specific instances, the quantitative evidence cannot rigorously identify causality. In these cases, a combination of quantitative and qualitative evidence may suggest policy levers. Taken together, there are sufficient data in place to support a greatly expanded focus on intrahousehold outcomes and bargaining power. Additional data at the individual level will allow for further and more detailed research. A growing literature supports the current conventional wisdom -- namely, that the patterns of evidence suggest that women's education, incomes, and assets all are important aspects of women's bargaining power.

Keywords: Labor Policies, Rural Development Knowledge & Information Systems, Anthropology, Gender and Law, Economic Theory & Research

Suggested Citation

Doss, Cheryl R., Intrahousehold Bargaining and Resource Allocation in Developing Countries (January 1, 2013). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6337, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2206185

Cheryl R. Doss (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Department of International Development ( email )

3 Mansfield Road
Oxford, OX1 3TB
United Kingdom

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