Gender, household behavior, and rural development

IFPRI Discussion Paper

Book 1
Intl Food Policy Res Inst

This paper reviews recent conceptual and empirical developments regarding household behavior and gender norms in developing countries covering the following general topics: (1) what do the data tell us about gender gaps in control and ownership of resources? (2) what have we learned about jointness in household behavior; (3) what do the data tell us about the resources that men and women control, whether solely or jointly; and (4) why does it matter?
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Additional Information

Publisher
Intl Food Policy Res Inst
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Published on
Nov 29, 2018
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Pages
35
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Public Policy / Agriculture & Food Policy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This study has been undertaken to understand and evaluate the potential negative consequences of export taxes which are implemented by many countries today and which are not disciplined by any international agreement. This paper uses a new detailed global dataset on export taxes at the HS6 (Harmonized System 6 level) level and the MIRAGE (Modeling International Relationships in Applied General Equilibrium) global computable general equilibrium model to assess the impact of export taxes on the world economy. We find that limitations on export taxes would have worldwide effects: the average export tax on global merchandise trade was 0.48 percent in 2007, with the bulk of these taxes imposed on energy products. The removal of these taxes would increase global welfare by 0.23 percent, which is a larger figure than the expected gains from the World Trade Organization’s Doha Development Round. Both developed and emerging economies, such as China and India, would gain from such policies, even if they currently impose export taxes. Medium and small food-importing countries without market power (such as the least-developed countries) would also benefit from the elimination of export restrictions, especially during food crisis situations. Both the energy sector and the export taxes implemented by Commonwealth of Independent States countries appear to play a critical role in the overall economic impact of such a policy change. However, the fact that some countries, such as Argentina, would experience income losses due to such a policy change is a major challenge to overall positive reform in this area.
Pakistan performs poorly withrespect to gender equality, women’s empowerment, and other gender-related indicators. Few studies in Pakistan measure the multiple dimensions of empowerment along which women are marginalized or disenfranchised, particularly in the country’s rural areas. Even fewer studies address the gender gaps in empowerment levels of men and women. This paper calculates a Women’s Disempowerment Index to examine women’s control over production, resources, income, household decisions, and time burden. The index is based on a slightly modified methodology than that used for WEAI calculation by Alkire et al. (2012). The analysis is based on a sample of 2,090 households in the rural areas of Pakistan. Data used for the study werecollected in three rounds of the Pakistan Rural Household Panel Survey from 2012–2014 by International Food Policy Research Institute/ Innovative Development Strategies for its Pakistan Strategy Support Program. The results show low empowerment levels of only 17 percent for women in the rural areas of Pakistan. The results also show very low empowerment of women in all indicators and domains except the time burden/workload indicator. We then analyze women’s disempowerment by subsamples based on individual and household characteristics. We also calculate disempowerment levels among men and compare it to disempowerment levels among women. Comparison within the household reveals large disparities in empowerment levels among men and women. In a comparative analysis, men are found to be more empowered in domains of production, income,and autonomy. Both men and women were found to be most disempowered in access to and control over resources. The paper provides a baseline for tracking women’s empowerment over time and identifies areas that need to be strengthened through policy interventions
"This paper uses data from national household expenditure surveys to explore whether food insecurity is more severe in South Asia or Sub-Saharan Africa. It employs two indicators of the diet quantity dimension of food insecurity, or the inability to access sufficient food: the prevalence of food energy deficiency and the prevalence of severe food energy deficiency. It also employs two indicators of the diet quality dimension, indicating lack of access to nutritious food: the prevalence of low diet diversity and the percent of energy from staple foods. It finds the regions' food energy deficiency prevalences to be quite close (51 percent in South Asia, 57 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa). However, the prevalence of severe food energy deficiency, which is more life threatening, is higher in Sub-Saharan Africa (51 percent versus 35 percent in South Asia). From a diet quality standpoint, the regions appear to suffer from a comparable and high reliance on staple foods in the diet to the neglect of foods rich in protein and micronutrients, but that Sub-Saharan Africa may be doing worse, as reflected in less diverse diets. The results confirm that both regions suffer from deep food insecurity problems but point to Sub-Saharan Africa as the region with the more severe problem, particularly when it comes to the diet quantity dimension of food insecurity. In deciding which region should be given greater emphasis in the international allocation of scarce development resources, the fact that the numbers of people affected by food insecurity are higher in South Asia should be taken into consideration."IFPRI web site.
What are the consequences if the people given control over our government have no idea how it works?

"The election happened," remembers Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, then deputy secretary of the Department of Energy. "And then there was radio silence." Across all departments, similar stories were playing out: Trump appointees were few and far between; those that did show up were shockingly uninformed about the functions of their new workplace. Some even threw away the briefing books that had been prepared for them.

Michael Lewis’s brilliant narrative takes us into the engine rooms of a government under attack by its own leaders. In Agriculture the funding of vital programs like food stamps and school lunches is being slashed. The Commerce Department may not have enough staff to conduct the 2020 Census properly. Over at Energy, where international nuclear risk is managed, it’s not clear there will be enough inspectors to track and locate black market uranium before terrorists do.

Willful ignorance plays a role in these looming disasters. If your ambition is to maximize short-term gains without regard to the long-term cost, you are better off not knowing those costs. If you want to preserve your personal immunity to the hard problems, it’s better never to really understand those problems. There is upside to ignorance, and downside to knowledge. Knowledge makes life messier. It makes it a bit more difficult for a person who wishes to shrink the world to a worldview.

If there are dangerous fools in this book, there are also heroes, unsung, of course. They are the linchpins of the system—those public servants whose knowledge, dedication, and proactivity keep the machinery running. Michael Lewis finds them, and he asks them what keeps them up at night.

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