Sweets or alcohol? The gender battle within Japanese families

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Abstract

This paper provides a new perspective from which to understand intra-household food allocation by examining how gendered differences in food preferences and wives' share of household income-a proxy for wives' bargaining power -influence food allocation. In a two-stage estimation in this study, single households were used to identify whether men and women have different food preferences, and then, households consisting of couples were used to examine how wives' share of household income affects household food allocation. The estimation results show that an increase in wives' share of household income increases the share of expenditure on the sweet foods preferred by women and decreases the share of expenditure on the drinks and alcohol preferred by men. Regarding food eaten inside and outside the home, the share of total expenditure on eating out of households with full-time working wives is increased and the purchases of vegetables and seafood are decreased. These results indicate that a potential disadvantage of increasing the number of female married full-time workers is lower-quality household diets due to increased eating out and reduced spending on vegetables.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-203
Number of pages14
JournalEconomics Bulletin
Volume37
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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