Gender physiology and the allocation of labor in subsistence households.

Author: Coleman, Susan Long

Awarding University: University of Hawaii, USA

Level : PhD

Year: 1997

Holding Libraries: University Microfilms International ;

Subject Terms: Labour economics ; Women's studies ; Metabolism ; Farming ;

Pages: 0

Advisors: Adviser: Russo, Gerard


This dissertation is a study of the inter-relationships between human physiology, the calorie costs of labor, and food production in the subsistence household with special emphasis on gender differences. Two economic models depicting the above relationships are formulated--one a cost minimizing model and the other a profit maximizing model. An empirical analysis follows which explores the effects of physiological and household characteristics on labor and calorie allocations using data from subsistence households in Kenya. The results of the study suggest: (1) physiological characteristics influence subsistence household labor and calorie allocation. (2) differences between males and females in the allocation of subsistence household labor and calorie allocation can be explained by physiological differences. (3) households may exhibit cost minimizing behavior that could lead to the perpetual overwork of women.