Intrahousehold resource allocation and well-being

The case of rural households in Senegal

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In this last decade, poverty in developing countries remains the most important topic of debate at the international level. The main challenge is how to build policies and programs on a gender perspective approach taking into account gender differences in behavior between male and female at the level of the household. This study is undertaken in a context of two earner partners living in mixed farming systems in Senegal where earnings come primarily from crops and livestock. This book provides substantial research focused on household decision-making regarding resource allocation and consumption. Moreover, it attempts to show empirical findings on the analysis of welfare and well-being through an innovative combination of subjective and objective methods. The research shows how important socioeconomic and cultural factors are in determining earnings from agricultural activities. Important determinants of productivity are related to women’s land access, non-labor income (transfers from migrants), and the wife's access to credit and health care. The research illustrates also that women's bargaining power may be strongly linked to their access to livestock resources, their mobility in purchasing food and medicine and their participation in the management of household finance. Analysis of decision-making regarding expenditures shows that women, more than men, value household goods (related to food, health and schooling expenditures) more than private goods. The results suggest that policies aimed at improving household livelihoods must understand gender differences, obligations and priorities.

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