Index > Publications > Publication Details

Publication Details

Intrahousehold asset dynamics and its effect on the intergenerational transmission of poverty

Laia Soto Bermant


This paper presents an annotated bibliography and a literature review of relevant scholarship concerning intrahousehold access to and control of assets, and their effects on the intergenerational transmission of poverty.

 The paper is structured in two sections: 1) the literature review, which provides a critical overview of current research and addresses key theoretical and methodological questions, and 2) the annotated bibliography, which lists and summarises relevant works on the subject. The paper opens up by examining the links between intrahousehold resource allocation and IGT poverty. Section two identifies relevant scholarship addressing the study of IGT poverty. The main factors contributing to the intergenerational transmission of poverty are outlined, and recent literature making the case for an asset-based approach to the study of poverty is presented. 

Chapters 3 and 4 examine relevant theoretical and empirical scholarship on household dynamics. In chapter 3, the main factors shaping access to resources are profiled. While gender inequality, age and status are critical determinants of intrahousehold hierarchies, social relations which transcend the boundaries of the household are also considered. Chapter 4 explores in greater detail how key assets such as land, healthcare, nutrition and education are distributed amongst household members, and the effects of unequal distribution on IGT poverty. Finally, the last two chapters review recent scholarship concerning the importance of socio-cultural norms and practices in shaping asset dynamics, and highlight the potential contributions of anthropology to poverty research. The literature review is followed by a select annotated bibliography of relevant scholarship, including summaries and keywords for all references.

 The main findings of the paper indicate that further research is needed in order to determine how and when asset dynamics constitute critical drivers of IGT poverty. The focus on the household as a unit of analysis is found to be problematic, as it neglects extra-household factors of crucial importance in the allocation of resources and may obscure the role of long-term structural relations of economic inequality in reproducing chronic poverty. In this sense, it is suggested that anthropological approaches may prove a useful tool, both theoretically and methodologically, for the advancement of poverty research.

Publication Type(s)

CPRC Working Paper


intergenerational transmission of poverty assets agriculture gender health education Household dynamics

ISBN: 978-1-906433-16-1


Intrahousehold asset dynamics PDF 757.3 KB

Back to Search Results