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Women's empowerment and gender-differentiated food allocation in Bangladesh

Hossain, M., Asadullah, N. M. and Kambhampati, U. ORCID: (2021) Women's empowerment and gender-differentiated food allocation in Bangladesh. Review of Economics of the Household, 19. pp. 739-767. ISSN 1573-7152

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s11150-021-09546-x


This paper analyzes the impact of women’s empowerment on two aspects of food security – calorie and protein intake of children - using data on agricultural households from the Bangladesh Integrated Household Survey. We are interested both in the differential impact of mother’s empowerment on the food security of boys and girls as well as in whether different aspects of empowerment have different effects. There are 10 different aspects of empowerment including making production decisions, owning and selling assets, being a member of a group and so on. Our estimates suggest that, in households with more empowered women, children enjoy higher calorie and protein intake but that daughters are disadvantaged relative to sons. Most importantly, mother’s empowerment is an important source of gender discrimination. When considering the sub-components of empowerment, we find that input into production decisions are important for both calorie consumption and protein. These findings are robust to a host of controls including household poverty, sibling composition, community social norms and individual characteristics.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Economics
ID Code:95991


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