The share of household resources devoted to a child may depend on his or her gender, birth order, age, or relationship to their caretaker. However, it is challenging to determine whether parents favor certain children over others as consumption data is typically collected at the household level and goods are shared among family members. Recent work has inferred children’s consumption using household-level Engel curves for child-specific goods, but these studies are unable to identify inequality among children in the same household. I develop a new methodology using the collective household framework to study consumption inequality between different types of children. I apply this method to child fostering in Malawi, where 17 percent of households have a child who is living away from both of their biological parents. I find little evidence of inequality between foster and non-foster children, with the exception of orphaned foster children, whose consumption is 20 percent less than non-foster children.
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