COVID-19, Crises and Women's Control of Resources: Evidence from Mexico

90 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2023 Last revised: 21 May 2024


This paper examines the relationship between crises and the intra-household allocation of resources. Using data from Mexico, I estimate a structural collective model to identify the distribution of household resources among its members. Then, I construct a proxy for women’s bargaining power based on their control of resources and document how it evolves over periods of economic stability and contraction. The results suggest that during the COVID-19 crisis, women’s control of resources decreased relative to the non-recession period (4-5 percentage points) and the financial crisis (6-8 percentage points), with a more pronounced effect for households with children. I further analyze how this resource reallocation affects household consumption and individual poverty. The findings highlight the heterogeneous behavior of intra-household inequality over the business cycle. It also suggests that the hypothesis that the financial crisis was a “man-cession” and the COVID-19 crisis was a “she-cession” holds in terms of intra-household resource allocation.

Keywords: Crisis, Resource Shares, Control of Resources, COVID-19

JEL Classification: D10, I14, I31, J10, H12

Suggested Citation

Casco, Jose L., COVID-19, Crises and Women's Control of Resources: Evidence from Mexico. Available at SSRN: or

Jose L. Casco (Contact Author)

Bank of Mexico ( email )

Av. 5 de Mayo 18
Colonia Centro
Mexico City, CDMX 06059

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