Poverty amongst Female-headed Households in Bosnia and Herzegovina: an empirical analysis
Languages of publication
This paper conducts an empirical investigation of whether female-headed households (FHHs) are over-represented amongst the poor compared to male-headed households in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), measured through the consumption dimension of poverty. Apart from self-reported and demographic definitions of headship, which do not make reference to the economic support provided for a household, households whose headship is assigned according to economic definition are included in the analysis. Moreover, the heterogeneity of FHHs is recognised in our study. In this way, the study avoids the main pitfalls associated with similar studies. Since the relationship between poverty and headship has regional and ethnic characteristics, the specific characteristics of BiH in this context are taken into account. Finally, given that our analysis did not find evidence of FHHs being disadvantaged in terms of household consumption, it cannot be argued that policy measures targeting FHHs would be a useful approach to reducing poverty in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Agarwal, B. 2001, ‘Poverty in a globalizing world at different stages of women's life cycle’, UN Expert Group Meeting on Gender and Poverty, Institute of Economic Growth.
- Alderman H, P. A. Chiapporir L. Haddad, J. Hoodinott et R. Kanbur 1995, ‘Unitary versus Collective Models of the Household: Is It Time to Shift the Burden of Proof’, World Bank Research Observer, vol. 10, pp. 1-19.
- Anderson, K., And Pomfret, R. (2000), ‘Gender Effects of Transition: The Kyrgyz Republic' draft; paper presented at the American Economics Association conference in New Orleans in January 2001.
- Barros, R., Fox L. M and Mendonca R. 1994, ‘Female-headed Households, Poverty and the Welfare of Children in urban Brazil’, Policy Research Working Paper No.1275. The World Bank.
- Bisogno M. and Chong A. 2002, ‘On the Determinants of Inequality in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Economics of Transition 10(2), 301-337.
- Blackburn R. M., Bradley B. and Jarman J. 2001, ‘The Gendering of Work around the World: Occupational Gender Segregation and inequality’. Cambridge Studies in Social Research, No 8. Cambridge University Sociological Research Group: SRG Publications.
- Bridge 1995, ‘A quarterly update from Bridge, raising gender awareness amongst policy makers and practitioners, Issue 2: Poverty Reduction Strategies’. Institute of Development Studies 1995 ISSN 1358-0612.
- Bridge 1997, ‘Gender Inequality and Poverty: Trends, Linkages, Analysis and Policy Implications’. Report prepared for the Gender Equality Unit, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) by Sally Baden with Kirsty Milward.
- Bridge 2001, Briefing Paper on the ‘Feminisation of Poverty’, prepared for the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. Bridge Report No.59. Sussex: Institute of Development Studies.
- Buhmann, B, Rainwater, L, Schmaus, G, Smeeding, T, M. 1988, ‘Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality, and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates across Ten Countries Using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database’, Review of Income and Wealth, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(2), pages 115-42, June.
- Buvinic, M. 1990, ‘The Vulnerability of Women - Headed Households: Policy Questions and Options for Latin America and the Caribbean’, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Meeting on Vulnerable Woman. 26 - 30 November. 1990. Vienna: UN.
- Buvinic, M. and Gupta, G. R. 1997, ‘Female headed households and female-maintained families: are they worth targeting to reduce poverty in developing countries?’ Economic Development and Cultural Change, Vol 45 No 2
- Chant, S. 1997, ‘Women-headed Households: Diversity and Dynamics in the Developing World’, Houndmills, Basingstoke: Macmillan.
- Chen, M. And Dreze J. 1995, ‘Recent research on widows in India: Workshop and conference report. Economic and Political Weekly (Bombay). pp. 2435-2450.
- Degraff, D. S., and Bilsborrow, R. E. 1992, ‘Female-headed households and family welfare in rural Ecuador’, Paper presented at the 1992 meetings of the Population Association of America, 30 April - 2 May, Denver, Colo., U. S. A.
- Dreze, J. and Srinivasan, P. V. 1997, ‘Widowhood and Poverty in Rural India: Some Inferences from Household Survey Data’, Journal of Development Economics, 54, 217-234.
- Fong, M. and Lokshin, M. 2000, ‘Child Care and Women s Labor Force Participation in Romania’, The World Bank Development Research Group Poverty and Human Resources Policy Research, Working Paper 2400.
- Foster, A. 1993, ‘Household Partition in Rural Bangladesh’, Population Studies, 47(1).
- Foster, A. D. and Rosenzweig, M. R. 2001, ‘Household Division And Rural Economic Growth’, Pier Working Paper No. 01-049.
- Fuwa, N. 1999, ‘The Poverty and Heterogeneity amongst Female Headed Households Revisited: The Case of Panama’, Chiba University, Matsudo.
- Fuwa, N., undated ‘A Note on the Analysis of Female Headed Households in Developing Countries’, Agricultural Economics Department, Faculty of Horticulture, Chiba University.
- Gammage, S. 1989, ‘The Gender Dimension of Household Poverty: Is Headship Still a Useful Concept?’ International Center for Research on Women.
- Gangopadhyay, S., and Wadhwa, W. 2003, ‘Are Indian Female-Headed Households More Vulnerable to Poverty?’ India Development Foundation.
- Garfinkel, I. and McLanahan, S. 1986, ‘Single mothers and their children: A new American dilemma?’ Washington D. C.: Urban Institute Press.
- Gimenez, M. 1987, ‘The feminization of poverty: Myth or reality?’ Insurgent Sociologist, 14, (3), pp. 5-30.
- Gonzalez, P., Santos, M. C., and Santos, L. D. 2005, ‘The Gender Wage Gap in Portugal: Recent Evolution and Decomposition’, CETE Discussion Papers 0505, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
- Gujarati, D. 2003, ‘Basic Econometrics’. Fourth Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
- Handa, S. 1994, "Gender, Headship and Intra-household Resource Allocation", World Development 22(10): 1535-47.[Crossref]
- International Helsinki Federation For Human Rights, undated, ‘Bosnia and Herzegovina’, accessed on
- International Labour Organisation (ILO), 1996, ‘The Feminisation of Poverty’, accessed on
- Jackson, C. 1996, ‘Rescuing Gender from the Poverty Trap’, World Development, 24:3, 489-504.[Crossref]
- Jaumotte, F. 2003, ‘Female Labour Force Participation: Past Trends and Main Determinants in OECD Countries’, OECD Economics Department Working Papers, No. 376, OECD Publishing.
- Joshi, S. 2004, ‘Female Household-Headship in Rural Bangladesh: Incidence, Determinants and Impact on Children's Schooling’, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
- Judith, B. and Dwyer, D. 1988, ‘A Home Divided: Women and Income in the Third World’, Stanford, California, Stanford University Press.
- Judith, B. and Lloyd C. 1992, ‘Beyond Female Headship: Family Research and Policy Issues for the 1990s’, paper presented at the International Food Policy Research Institute-World Bank Conference on Intra-household Resource Allocation: Policy Issues and Research Methods, Washington, D. C.
- Kabeer, N. 1996, ‘Agency, Well-being and Inequality: Reflections on the Gender Dimensions of Poverty’, IDS Bulletin, 27:1, 11-21.
- Kennedy, E., and Haddad, L. 1994, ‘Are Pre-Schoolers from Female-Headed Households Less Malnourished? A Comparative Analysis of Results from Ghana and Kenya’, Journal of Development Studies, 30(3):680-695.
- Kennedy, E., and Peters P. 1992, ‘Household food security and child nutrition: the interaction of income and gender of the household head’, World Development, 20(8): 1077-85.[Crossref]
- Kossoudji, S. and Mueller, E. 1983, ‘The Economic Status of Female Headed Households in Rural Botswana’, Economic Development and Cultural Changes, Vol. 31(3) pp; 831-859.
- Kukanesen, R. 2003, ‘Female Headed Households in BiH’, United Nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Lanjouw, P., Milanovic B, and Paternostro S. 1998, ‘Poverty and the Economic, Transition How Do Changes in Economies of Scale Affect Poverty Rates for Different Households?’ The World Bank Development Research Group Poverty and Human Resources.
- Louat, F., Grosh, M. E and Gaag Van Der, J. 1992, ‘Welfare Implications of Female-headship in Jamaican Households’, paper presented at the International Food Policy Research Institute-World Bank Conference on Intra-household Resource Allocation: Policy Issues and Research Methods, Washington, D. C.
- Mickiewicz, T. 2005, Economic Transition in Central Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Palgrave MacMillan, Haundmills and New York.
- Milanovic, B. 1998, ‘Income, inequality, and poverty during the transition from planned to market economy’. Washington, DC: World Bank
- Moghadam, V. M. 1993, ‘Modernizing women: Gender and social change in the Middle East. Boulder’, CO: Lynne Rienner
- Moghadam, V. 2005), ‘The ‘Feminization of Poverty’ and Women's Human Rights'. SHS Papers in Women's Studies/ Gender Research No. 2. Gender Equality and Development Section UNESCO.
- MUKHOPADHYAY, S., and GHATAK S. undated, ‘Analysing Linkages Between Gender and Poverty: A Methodological Note’.
- National Statistical Institute Of Bulgaria, 2006, ‘Comparative Tables by Census Years’, available from
- Obarcanin, J. 2005, Report on the Present State and Future of Social Security in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Social Institutions Support Programme of Council of Europe.
- Official Gazette RBIH, No. 2/92 ‘Law on Fundamental Rights of the Disabled Veterans and Families of the Killed Soldiers’.
- Owen, M., undated, ‘Widows in Third World Nations’, Encyclopedia of Death and Dying: vi-z, available from
- Paci, P. and Reilly, B. undated, ‘Does Economic Liberalization Reduce Gender Inequality in the Labor Market: the Experience of the Transition Economies of Europe and Central Asia’, draft, Poverty and Economic Management Division, Europe and Central Asia Region, The World Bank, Washington DC.
- Paci, P. 2002, ‘Gender in Transition’, Human Development Unit, Eastern Europe and Central Asia Region, World Bank.
- Quisumbing, A., haddad, L. and Pena, C. 1995, ‘Gender and Poverty: New Evidence from 10 Developing Countries’. Food Consumption and Nutrition Division Discussion Paper No. 9, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC.
- Ringen S. 2003, ‘Population Crisis in Europe’, Times Literary Supplement United Nations Population Fund: State of the World Population 2002, New York: UNFPA 2002 (www.unfpa.org) ISBN 0-89714-650-6, 80pp.
- Rogers, B. L. 1995, ‘Alternative Definitions of Female Headship in the Dominican Republic’, World Development, 23 (12), 2033-2039.[Crossref]
- Rosenhouse, S. 1989, ‘Identifying the Poor: Is ‘Headship' Useful Concept?’ World Bank Living Standard Measurement Study Working Paper No. 58.
- Schnepf, S. V. 2004, ‘The Feminisation of Poverty in Transition Countries: Evidence from Subjective Data’, University of Hamburg University of Southampton.
- State Agency For Statistics, Republika Srpska Institute Of-Statistics, Federation Of BiH Instizute Of Statistics And World Bank, 2002, ‘Welfare in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2001: Measurement and Findings’.
- State Agency For Statistics, Republika Srpska Institute Of-Statistics, Federation Of BiH Instizute Of Statistics And World Bank, 2002a, ‘Bosnia-Herzegovina Living Standards Measurement Study Survey 2001- Basic Information Document’
- State Agency For Statistics, Republika Srpska Institute Of-Statistics, Federation Of BiH Instizute Of Statistics And World Bank, 2002b, ‘Bosnia-Herzegovina Living Standards Measurement Study Survey 2001- Abstract’
- State Agency For Statistics For BiH, 2006, Notices; available from
- UNDP, 2002, ‘Human Development Report: Bosnia and Herzegovina’, United Nations. Development Programme Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- United Nations Volunteers, 2004, ‘Female Headed Households in post-war Srebrenica’, available from
- Vaknin S. 2002, ‘Women in Transition: From post-feminism to past femininity’, Central European Review, available from
- Vodopivec, M. 2002, ‘Labour Market in the Post-War Bosnia and Herzegovina: How to Encourage Business to Create Jobs and Increase Worker Mobility’. Human Development Unit - South East Europe Country Unit Europe and Central Asia Region, The World Bank.
- World Bank, 2003, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Poverty Assessment, Report No. 25343-BIH.
Publication order reference