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Inheritance patterns in migration-prone communities of the Peruvian Highlands

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  • Goetghebuer, Tatiana
  • Platteau, Jean-Philippe

Abstract

On the basis of detailed information on inheritance practices collected in the course of an in-depth survey of three Andean communities of Peru, and unlike most empirical studies which rely on remittance functions, we have been able to estimate an inheritance function with a view to identifying the main factors associated with particular patterns of land bequests. A central result is that the positive relationship between caring and a favourable access to land bequest indeed exists, yet is only observed for migrant children (whether urban or rural, long-distance or short-distance migrants). Combined with other findings and observations, this result strengthens the case for an interpretation based on an active role of potential heirs in the determination of inheritance outcomes. It therefore calls into question the strategic bequest theory which presumes that parents are the ultimate decision-makers in this matter. In addition, our study shows that inheritance patterns are complex: besides migration and caring behavior, personal characteristics of potential heirs, such as gender, birth order, and family status (having children or not), do appear to influence division of parental land.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 93 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 71-87

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:93:y:2010:i:1:p:71-87

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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Keywords: Land access Inheritance Migration Strategic bequest;

References

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  1. Yang-Ming Chang & Dennis L. Weisman, 2005. "Sibling Rivalry and Strategic Parental Transfers," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 821-836, April.
  2. de la Briere, Benedicte & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & de Janvry, Alain & Lambert, Sylvie, 2002. "The roles of destination, gender, and household composition in explaining remittances: an analysis for the Dominican Sierra," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 309-328, August.
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  9. Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S151-82, July.
  10. Gertrud Schrieder & Beatrice Knerr, 2000. "Labour Migration as a Social Security Mechanism for Smallholder Households in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Cameroon," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(2), pages 223-236.
  11. B. Douglas Bernheim & Sergei Severinov, 2003. "Bequests as Signals: An Explanation for the Equal Division Puzzle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 733-764, August.
  12. Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 2000. "Why Dowries?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0200, Econometric Society.
  13. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2004. "Parental Allocations to Children: New Evidence on Bequest Differences among Siblings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 637-640, May.
  14. Stark, Oded & Lucas, Robert E B, 1988. "Migration, Remittances, and the Family," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(3), pages 465-81, April.
  15. Hoddinott, John, 1992. "Modelling Remittance Flows in Kenya," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 1(2), pages 206-32, August.
  16. La Ferrara, Eliana, 2007. "Descent rules and strategic transfers. Evidence from matrilineal groups in Ghana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 280-301, July.
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