Impact of women’s share of income on household expenditure in southeast Nigeria

The main focus of this paper was to: (i) determine the impact of women’s share of household income on the pattern of expenditure on various categories of basic goods in southeast Nigeria; (ii) explain the pattern of household expenditure using the bargaining model of household behaviour; and (iii) extrapolate the results to the policy implications of gender-specific control of household incomes. We used cross-sectional household data elicited from a sample of 400 households constituting 2 520 members collected from November 2016 to March 2017 and disaggregated by gender. We found that increasing women’s share of incomes raises the budget share for food, children’s clothes, children’s school fees, fuel for household services and other expenditure, although not significantly with the budget shares for alcohol and meals out of the home. Our results suggest that any strategy by policymakers in southeast Nigeria to improve any of the expenditure items should target the empowerment of the gender that will more likely spend their money on the items concerned.