Age bias, but no gender bias, in the intra-household resource allocation for health care in rural Burkina Faso




Sauerborn, R
Berman, Peter
Nougtara, A

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Health Transition Centre, National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, The Australian National University


Household survey data , time allocation data, and qualitative interviews were used to examine whether households allocate their resources for health care differently between age and gender groups. Households allocated significantly fewer resources to the health care of sick children compared to that of sick adults. In contrast there were no such differences with regard to gender. The underlying household rationale is to concentrate its resources spent for health care on productive members rather than to spread them equitably among all its sick members. While children are not productive, women were shown to contribute as much to household production as men, hence their health is valued equally with that of men. Unless we understand intra-household biases in resource allocation, policies will be undermined. Further research is needed to test the hypothesis for the households’ preference of production maintenance over health maximization.



Age bias, gender bias, rural health care, Burkina Faso, household resources, infant mortality, subsistence living, household production




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