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Keywords:

  • D13;
  • I12;
  • O15;
  • Q18
  • Nigeria;
  • Intrahousehold redistribution of income;
  • Women's income share elasticity;
  • Calorie consumption

Abstract

This article addresses the important but not widely investigated question of how calorie consumption in African low-income households would respond to intrahousehold redistribution of income from men to women. Specifically, I use survey data on a sample of 480 households from semirural areas of south-western Nigeria to analyze the response of per capita calorie intake to changes in women's share of household income, after controlling for per capita income and demographic characteristics at individual, household, and community levels. I also examine the effect of marginal increases in household income on per capita calorie intake conditional on the income distribution factor: women's share of income. My results suggest that redistributing household income from men to women would neither raise per capita food energy intake nor increase the quality of food calorie source of households in rural south-western Nigeria. I also find that while the income elasticity of quantity of calorie intake is close to zero, income elasticity for quality of calorie intake is substantially positive. I conclude that neither gender-neutral household income increases nor redistribution of household income in favor of women would substantially motivate increased amounts of food energy intake within households in the population under study. However, gender neutral increase in household income is likely to substantially increase the household demand for high-quality food calorie sources.