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Gender Experiments

LSMS surveys can be a powerful tool for understanding gender dynamics in low-income settings, through the emphasis on collecting data on and from individuals in the household, and by covering multiple topics.  At the same time, there are several dimensions in which a greater focus on gender will enrich analytical work on gender produced from LSMS data.  The program will evaluate the ways in which LSMS survey instruments be improved to systematically increase the use of the survey as a tool for gender analysis.  Rather than implying a new module on gender specific questions, the approach here would be more nuanced and emphasize adding gender dimensions throughout the household and community questionnaire.   While there are numerous examples of small sets of interesting and provocative gender-related questions being included in particular surveys, to date, there has been little effort to compile a compendium of these efforts, as well as to motivate the research topics which the right questions can address.  As a consequence, innovative questions which have been implemented in one questionnaire are often overlooked (for lack of access or dissemination) in drafting a questionnaire in another setting (for example, decision-making in the Indonesia Family Life Surveys, see Beegle, Frankenberg and Thomas, 2001).

Areas of focus will include:

  • Asset ownership across individuals in the household
  • Consumption patterns across different members of the household
  • Decision making
  • Inheritance experiences
  • Migration
  • Remittances
  • Household enterprise ownership and management
  • De jure versus de facto headship
  • Access and use of credit


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