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Crust or crumb?: Intrahousehold resource allocation and male breadwinning in late Victorian Britain

Crust or crumb?: Intrahousehold resource allocation and male breadwinning in late Victorian Britain literature a resource allocation bias against girls in favour of boys. The reason is, in part, economic. R ecent developmentemploymenthas identifiedresources into the family. Boys engage in paid and bring Girls, facing limited employment opportunities, directly contribute little to the family purse. Furthermore, when they leave to marry, girls may take assets with them. Consequently, families perceive girls as being of lower value than boys, and parents direct resources towards the better economic asset—male offspring—a decision whose extreme outcome can be observed in excess female mortality. In this model, unequal access to paid work has its corollary in gender-differentiated receipts of welfareenhancing resources. This model of intrahousehold resource allocation raises questions for economic historians. In particular, it focuses attention on what was happening within households when the family ceased to be the basic unit of production and was replaced by individual wage workers, a profoundly gendered process culminating in that most valorized of workers, the male breadwinner. This shift over the course of the nineteenth century from households satisfying their material needs through the employment and income contributions of all family members to reliance on the earnings of a male head of household has been well documented.3 But http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Economic History Review Wiley

Crust or crumb?: Intrahousehold resource allocation and male breadwinning in late Victorian Britain

Economic History Review , Volume 52 (3) – Aug 1, 1999

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References (30)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Blackwell Publishers Ltd 1999
ISSN
0013-0117
eISSN
1468-0289
DOI
10.1111/1468-0289.00134
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

literature a resource allocation bias against girls in favour of boys. The reason is, in part, economic. R ecent developmentemploymenthas identifiedresources into the family. Boys engage in paid and bring Girls, facing limited employment opportunities, directly contribute little to the family purse. Furthermore, when they leave to marry, girls may take assets with them. Consequently, families perceive girls as being of lower value than boys, and parents direct resources towards the better economic asset—male offspring—a decision whose extreme outcome can be observed in excess female mortality. In this model, unequal access to paid work has its corollary in gender-differentiated receipts of welfareenhancing resources. This model of intrahousehold resource allocation raises questions for economic historians. In particular, it focuses attention on what was happening within households when the family ceased to be the basic unit of production and was replaced by individual wage workers, a profoundly gendered process culminating in that most valorized of workers, the male breadwinner. This shift over the course of the nineteenth century from households satisfying their material needs through the employment and income contributions of all family members to reliance on the earnings of a male head of household has been well documented.3 But

Journal

Economic History ReviewWiley

Published: Aug 1, 1999

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