Skip to main content

Female-headed households and family welfare in rural Ecuador

Abstract

This paper examines the relationships between female headship status of households and family welfare in rural Ecuador. We first review theoretical arguments for why female headship may affect family welfare. Descriptive analysis indicates that female-headed households are worse off according to a variety of measures of welfare. We then focus on children's school enrollment as a specific measure of welfare and estimate a multivariate model to assess the effects of female headship on the probability of enrollment. We find that children in female-headed households are disadvantaged in this respect and that the effect of female headship varies across marital status categories of the female head.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Bilsborrow RE, Peek P (1992) Peasant farming and labour migration: evidence from the ecuadorian highlands. Proceedings of IUSSP Conference on the Peopling of the Americas, May 18–28, 1992, Veracruz, Mexico, Volume 2, pp 357–375

    Google Scholar 

  • Bilsborrow RE, McDevitt TM,Kossoudji S, Fuller R (1987) The impact of origin community characteristics on rural-urban out-migration in a developing country. Demography 24(2):191–210

    Google Scholar 

  • Bilsborrow RE, Oberai AS, Standing G (1984) Migration surveys in low-income countries: guidelines for survey and questionnaire design. Croom Helm, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Bruce J (1989) Homes divided. World Dev 17(7):979–992

    Google Scholar 

  • Bruce J, Dwyer D (1988) A home divided: women and income in the third world. Stanford University Press, Stanford

    Google Scholar 

  • Bruce J, Lloyd C (1992) Beyond female headship: family research and policy issues for the 1990s. Paper prepared for IFPRI workshop on Intrahousehold Resource Allocation: Policy Issues and Research Methods, February 12–14, 1992, Washington, DC

  • Buvinic M, Lycette MA, McGreevey WP (1983) Women and poverty in the third world. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore

    Google Scholar 

  • CEPAR (1988) Analisis multivariado de los determinantes de la fecundidad en communidades rurales del Ecuador. Centro de Estudios de Poblacion y Paternidad Responsable, Quito, Ecuador

    Google Scholar 

  • Chernichovsky D (1985) Socioeconomic and demographic aspects of school enrollment and attendance in rural Botswana. Econ Dev Cult Change 33(2):319–332

    Google Scholar 

  • DeGraff DS, Bilsborrow RE, Herrin AN (1992) The implications of high fertility for children's time use in the Philippines. Paper prepared for the annual meeting of the Population Association of America, April 30–May 2, 1992, Denver

  • DeVos S (1992) A preliminary demographic view of change 1970–1980 in unmarried mothers 15–49 heading their own households in Brazil. Paper prepared for the annual meeting of the Population Association of America, April 30–May 2, 1992, Denver

  • ENDEMAIN (1989) Encuesta demografica y de salud materna e infantil: informa resumido sobre nupcialidad y fecundidad. Centro de Estudios sobre Poblacion y Paternidad Responsable, Quito, Ecuador

    Google Scholar 

  • International Center for Research on Women (1988) Women-headed households: issues for discussion. Paper prepared for the ICRW and Population Council Seminar Series on the Determinants and Consequences of Female-Headed Households

  • King E, Evenson RE (1983) Time allocation and home production in philippine rural households. In: Buvinic M, Lycette MA, McGreevey WP (eds) Women and poverty in the third world. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, pp 35–61

    Google Scholar 

  • Kossoudji S, Mueller E (1983) The economic and demographic status of female-headed households in rural Botswana. Econ Dev Cult Change 31:831–859

    Google Scholar 

  • Levison D (1991) Children's labor force activity and schooling in Brazil. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

    Google Scholar 

  • Lloyd C, Brandon A (1991) Women's role in maintaining households: poverty and gender inequality in Ghana. Population Council Working Paper 25

  • Mueller E (1984) The value and allocation of time in rural Botswana. J Dev Econ 15:329–360

    Google Scholar 

  • Oppong C (1983) Women's roles, opportunity costs, and fertility. In: Bulatao RA, Lee RD (eds) Determinants of fertility in developing countries. Academic Press, New York, Vol 1

    Google Scholar 

  • Rosenhouse S (1988) Identifying the poor: is headship a useful concept? Paper prepared for ICRW and Population Council Seminar Series on the Determinants and Consequences of Female-Headed Households

  • Thomas D (1990) Intra-household resource allocation: an inferential approach. J Human Resources 25(4):635–664

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

DeGraff, D.S., Bilsborrow, R.E. Female-headed households and family welfare in rural Ecuador. J Popul Econ 6, 317–336 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00599041

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00599041

Keywords

  • Marital Status
  • Female Headship
  • Multivariate Model
  • Descriptive Analysis
  • Specific Measure