The growth of the elderly population and changes in household composition raise important questions regarding the level of well-being of the elderly in developing countries. Traditional analyses of poverty often ignore the question of intra-household distribution of resources. This paper is the first to apply a collective consumption model to analyze the level of well-being of the elderly in Brazil. Our results indicate that living in a couple is associated with considerable economies of scale and that wive’s shares are increasing as total expenditures increase. We find that, in Brazil, elderly women experience a considerable decrease in material well-being when living alone, compared to elderly men. Finally, we conclude that disregarding the intra-household distribution of resources results in both underestimates and overestimates poverty among the elderly in Brazil.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-951
Number of pages27
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Brazil
  • Collective consumption
  • Elderly poverty
  • Intra-household allocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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