Consumption Patterns of Male and Female Headed Households in Pakistan: Evidence from PSLM 2007-08

Publication Year : 2012

Recent years have witnessed growing interest in analysing the welfare outcomes of female headed households (FHHs) in the developing world. The theoretical argument for examining female headship and family welfare is underpinned by two important considerations. The first concerns households’ access to resources, while the second pertains to control over the allocation of resources within the household [DeGraff and Bilsborrow (1993)]. A priori female headed households are expected to have access to a lower level of resources than the conventional male-headed households for a variety of reasons.1 However, this lower resource envelop experienced by female headed households may be partially offset by the way resources are allocated within such households. Several studies have revealed that resources under the control of women are more likely to be allocated for productive purposes that promote family welfare as compared to resource allocation under the control of men. In the context of Pakistan, the present paper aims to explore how resource allocation within female headed households differs from male headed households by examining the consumption patterns of both female and male headed households in the country.