Using a collective household model and a new structural estimation methodology, we estimate the intrahousehold resource shares of individual members in both rural and urban India. Our findings indicate that men’s and children’s per-capita intra-household resource shares are higher in urban compared to rural areas, while the opposite is true for women. Our results suggest that urbanisation, which is a sign of economic development, is associated with lower child poverty; but significantly higher gender gap in access to consumption within the household for adults. We explore two potential channels that explain our findings. Firstly, urban locations are dominated by upper-caste households, and we find that the gender resource share gap worsens as one moves higher up the caste hierarchy. Secondly, we found that the most favorable intra-household consumption
distribution for women occurs in rural areas with clayey soil textures, which traditionally foster women’s participation in agriculture. However, in urban areas, even within clayey soil regions, agriculture is no longer a prominent occupation, and women’s advantage in accessing intra-household consumption resources due to higher potential for labor market participation disappears. Therefore, caste identity and greater relative involvement
of women in agriculture on account of exogenously varying soil textures could explain the larger gender gap in within-household resource sharing in urban compared to rural locations.