Women’s Empowerment and Social Household Spending in Fragile States: Evidence from Chad

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MABALI, Aristide
KINDA, Somlanare Romuald
MALLAYE, Douzounet
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African Economic Research Consortium
State fragility in Chad has been narrowly associated with insecurity due to a long cycle of violent conflict and recurrent droughts, leading to low social development. In this paper, we have investigated the impact of women’s empowerment on household social expenditures using data from the Chadian household consumption and informal sector survey carried out in 2011, and Propensity Score Matching as empirical model. The social expenditures used as outcome variables are education, health and food. We find that social expenditures are higher when a household is headed by a woman than when it is headed by a man with similar observed characteristics. In particular, differences between female-headed households and male-headed households are higher in food expenditures after controlling for observed characteristics (covariates). The results also show that there is a composition effect in household expenditure. While female-headed households spend their incomes in social sectors (health, food and education), those headed by men spend for temptation goods (alcohol and leisure). These results hold when we control both model specification and common support hypothesis. Our findings provide decision makers with economic policy tools to promote the social development focusing on women’s empowerment.