This Is a Man’s World: Crime and Intra-Household Resource Allocation

Exposure to community violence is a pervasive development challenge. I study the effects of violent crime on intra-household resource allocation and bargaining power exploiting the onset of the Mexican drug war. I estimate a system of demand equations and find the escalation in violence reallocated expenditures toward male goods, at the expense of food and other necessities. These findings
would typically be interpreted as a deterioration in women’s bargaining power. But changes in crime may have also affected consumption preferences. To provide further evidence, I study changes in intra household decision-making, structurally estimate women’s resource shares, and analyze single households’ expenditures.

JEL Classification: D10, D13, J16, O10

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