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Keywords:

  • food expenditures;
  • gender inequality;
  • intrahousehold resource allocation;
  • Philippines

This study analyzes how married women use their access to and control over economic resources to increase household spending on food. Using data from Cebu, Philippines, where child malnutrition is high, this study finds that the more income women earn and control, the more households spend on food. Women's control over their income is particularly important for increasing food expenditures in the poorest households. In richer households, women who earn little of their own income also use spouse income transfers to increase food expenditures. The findings from this study suggest that in a developing country setting, improving women's economic status so that they earn and control more household resources can increase household spending on goods that benefit children.