Are women overrepresented among the poor? An analysis of poverty in 10 developing countries uri icon

abstract

  • This paper presents new evidence on the proportion of women in poverty in 10 developing countries. It compares poverty measures for males and females, and for male and female-headed households, and investigates the sensitivity of these measures to the use of per capita and per adult equivalent units and different definitions of the poverty line. While poverty measures are higher for female-headed households and for females, the differences are significant in only a fifth to a third of the datasets. The contribution of female-headed households to aggregate poverty is less than that of females, due to the low population share of the former. Stochastic dominance analysis reveals that differences between male- and female-headed households, and between males and females, are often insignificant, except for Ghana and Bangladesh, where females are consistently worse-off. These results suggest that cultural and institutional factors may be responsible for higher poverty among women in these countries. Our results point to the need to analyze determinants of household income and consumption using multivariate methods, and to give greater attention to the processes underlying female headship. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2001
  • 2001
  • 2001