Journal article: "Gender Accounting of Consumption and the Life-cycle Deficit for India" by Laishram Ladusingh

Laishram, L., 2013. "Gender Accounting of Consumption and the Life-cycle Deficit for India". Asia-Pacific Population Journal, 28(2) 27-49.


Life-cycle deficits for women and men in India at different stages of the life cycle are examined in the present paper. Disaggregating life- cycle deficits according to sex, which is termed gender accounting, is important for gender-based budgeting, as it helps Governments allocate funds according to gender needs. A Life-cycle deficit is the difference between income and consumption at different stages of the life cycle. The significance of the paper lies in its contribution to understanding the male-female differential in public and private expenditure on health care, education, and other goods and services in monetary terms and life-cycle deficit. The author finds that, overall, women have a life- cycle deficit, largely due to their lower rates of participation in the paid workforce. However, women perform a large amount of unpaid labour; thus, their life-cycle deficit could turn into a surplus if a monetary value were placed on unpaid labour. However, it is also shown in the present paper that consumption on health-care needs is higher for males in childhood as well as in old age, which can be partly attributed to the discriminatory sociocultural practices that are prevalent in India. As regards education, households tend to spend more on male education than on female education after the age of 15, which is the age at which free-of-charge public education ends.

The author concludes that gender accounting needs to be strengthened so as to allow Governments to allocate funds in order to promote gender equality and empower women. The author also recommends that, in order to achieve gender equality, public funding of health care is not enough. More needs to be done to remove the sociocultural barriers to the use of public services, such as health services.