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Intrahousehold distribution in migrant-sending families

Working Paper 2014-344

Abstract

This study proposes a novel approach for estimating the rules governing the distribution of resources among wife, husband and children, using a complete collective demand system with individual Engel effects. The model contributes to the literature by explicitly modeling intrahousehold inequality and offering a powerful tool to analyze the impact of specific factors or policies on the share of resources of each household member. We apply the model to Albania, a country where gender and inter-generation inequalities are relevant social issues stemming from traditional patriarchal family values and massive international migration of male adults. The results show that the female share of resources is substantially lower respect to a fair distribution. The share of resources freed by the male migrant shifts to the left behind children but not to women, especially when migration increases the influence of women in the decision making process. This effect is increasing with the proportion of daughters.

Authors: Lucia Mangiavacchi, Federico Perali, Luca Piccoli.

Keywords: Intrahousehold distribution, individual welfare, collective consumption models, sharing rule, migration, left behind, Albania.
JEL: D13 H31 I32 O15.