Skip to main content


Handa, Sudhanshu (1996). Expenditure Behaviour and Children's Welfare: An Analysis of Female Headed Households in Jamaica. Journal of Development Economics, 50(1), 145-160.


This paper presents an analysis on the expenditure behavior and children's welfare among female-headed households in Jamaica. Included in the examination of household composition are the demographic effects, endogeneity of total expenditure, the headship variable and the endogeneity of family structure. Using the 1989 Jamaican Survey of Living Conditions (SLC), expenditure estimation on over 100 goods for 3500 household was examined. This study utilized the Ordinary Least Square estimates, 2 SLC and endogeneity tests, and partnered and unpartnered household heads. Results for the demand for preventive health care were significant among older children in female-headed households, with a 4% increase in the probability of a check-up across all ages. This study presents a partial explanation of lower morbidity rates in female-headed households despite lower budget and total per capita expenditure levels. In conclusion, this study confirms the significant influence of sex and union status of the household head on household expenditure behaviors with implications for individual household members, with more positive outcomes among children despite differences in budget allocation and lower health expenditures.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Development Economics


Handa, Sudhanshu