Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in Cote D'Ivoire: Social Norms, Separate Accounts and Consumption Choices

52 Pages Posted: 28 May 2004 Last revised: 9 Sep 2010

See all articles by Esther Duflo

Esther Duflo

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD)

Christopher Udry

Northwestern University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2004

Abstract

We study resource allocation within households in Côte d'Ivoire. In Côte d'Ivoire, as in much of Africa, husbands and wives farm separate plots, and there is some specialization by gender in the crops that are grown. These different crops are differentially sensitive to particular kinds of rainfall shocks. We find that conditional on overall levels of expenditure, the composition of household expenditure is sensitive to the gender of the recipient of a rainfall shock. For example, rainfall shocks associated with high yields of women's crops shift expenditure towards food. Strong social norms constrain the use of profits from yam cultivation, which is carried out almost exclusively by men. In line with these norms, we find that rainfall-induced fluctuations in income from yams are transmitted to expenditures on education and food, not to expenditures on private goods (like alcohol and tobacco). We reject the hypothesis of complete insurance within households, even with respect to publicly observable weather shocks. Different sources of income are allocated to different uses depending upon both the identity of the income earner and upon the origin of the income.

Suggested Citation

Duflo, Esther and Udry, Christopher, Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in Cote D'Ivoire: Social Norms, Separate Accounts and Consumption Choices (May 2004). NBER Working Paper No. w10498. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=552103

Esther Duflo (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

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Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) ( email )

Duke University
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United States

Christopher Udry

Northwestern University ( email )

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Evanston, IL 60208
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