Descent Rules and Strategic Transfers. Evidence from Matrilineal Groups in Ghana
AbstractTraditional descent systems can roughly be divided into patrilineal and matrilineal. In the latter, a man’s heir is not his own child but rather his sister’s son. The paper examines the implications of this social norm for the pattern of inter-vivos transfers using household level data from rural Ghana, where the largest ethnic group is traditionally matrilineal. In particular, it tests the predictions of a model of strategic behaviour according to which children should respond to the threat of disinheritance by increasing transfers to their parents during lifetime to induce a donation of land before the default (matrilineal) inheritance is enforced. I find that the credibility of customary norms enforcement, as proxied by the presence of a nephew in the father’s household, significantly increases the probability of receiving transfers from children for Akans but not for other groups. The effect is specific to nephews and not to other co-resident boys. This pattern of behaviour can affect asset accumulation decisions across generations.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6111.
Date of creation: Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
Other versions of this item:
- 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.
- O16 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
- O17 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2007-02-24 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2007-02-24 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2007-02-24 (Development)
- NEP-SOC-2007-02-24 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, October.
- Eliana La Ferrara, 2003.
"Kin Groups and Reciprocity: A Model of Credit Transactions in Ghana,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1730-1751, December.
- La Ferrara, Eliana, 2003. "Kin Groups and Reciprocity: A Model of Credit Transactions in Ghana," CEPR Discussion Papers 3705, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- McGarry, Kathleen, 1999. "Inter vivos transfers and intended bequests," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 321-351, September.
- Anjini Kochar, 2000. "Parental Benefits from Intergenerational Coresidence: Empirical Evidence from Rural Pakistan," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1184-1209, December.
- Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2004.
"Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance,"
Development Working Papers
193, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
- Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2028, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2004. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," NBER Working Papers 10313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- B. Douglas Bernheim & Sergei Severinov, 2000. "Bequests as Signals: An Explanation for the Equal Division Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 7791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Otsuka, Keijiro, 2001.
"Land inheritance and schooling in matrilineal societies: evidence from Sumatra,"
CAPRi working papers
14, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Otsuka, Keijiro, 2001. "Land Inheritance and Schooling in Matrilineal Societies: Evidence from Sumatra," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(12), pages 2093-2110, December.
- Doss, Cheryl R., 2001. "Men'S Crops? Women'S Crops? Gender Patterns Of Cropping In Ghana," 2001 Annual meeting, August 5-8, Chicago, IL 20624, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
- Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Payongayong, Ellen & Aidoo, J. B. & Otsuka, Keijiro, 1999. "Women's land rights in the transition to individualized ownership," FCND discussion papers 58, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Doss, Cheryl R., 2002. "Men's Crops? Women's Crops? The Gender Patterns of Cropping in Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 1987-2000, November.
- Lastarria-Cornhiel, Susana, 1997. "Impact of privatization on gender and property rights in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 1317-1333, August.
- Esther Duflo & Christopher Udry, 2003.
"Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in Côte D'ivoire: Social Norms, Separate Accounts and Consumption Choices,"
857, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
- Christopher R. Udry & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in Cote D'Ivoire: Social Norms, Separate Accounts and Consumption Choices," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm407, Yale School of Management.
- Esther Duflo & Christopher Udry, 2004. "Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in Cote d'Ivoire: Social Norms, Separate Accounts and Consumption Choices," NBER Working Papers 10498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 1999.
Boston University - Institute for Economic Development
95, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
- Maristella Botticini & Aloysius Siow, 2000. "Why Dowries?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0200, Econometric Society.
- 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.
- Liliana E. Pezzin & Barbara Steinberg Schone, 1999. "Intergenerational Household Formation, Female Labor Supply and Informal Caregiving: A Bargaining Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 475-503.
- Lee Lillard & Robert Willis, 1997.
"Motives for interqenerational transfers: Evidence from Malaysia,"
Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 115-134, February.
- Lillard, L-A & Willis, R-J, 1997. "Motives for Intergenerational Transfers. Evidence from Malaysia," Papers 97-04, RAND - Reprint Series.
- Quisumbing, Agnes R, et al, 2001. "Women's Land Rights in the Transition to Individualized Ownership: Implications for Tree-Resource Management in Western Ghana," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(1), pages 157-81, October.
- Richard Akresh, 2005.
"Risk, Network Quality, and Family Structure: Child Fostering Decisions in Burkina Faso,"
902, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
- Akresh, Richard, 2005. "Risk, Network Quality, and Family Structure: Child Fostering Decisions in Burkina Faso," IZA Discussion Papers 1471, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Platteau, J.P. & Baland, J.M., 1998. "Impartible Inheritance Versus Equal Division: a Comparative Perspective C entered on Europe and Subsaharan Africa," Papers 209, Notre-Dame de la Paix, Sciences Economiques et Sociales.
- Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-46, June.
- Fenske, James, 2010. "Institutions in African history and development: A review essay," MPRA Paper 23120, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Di Falco, Salvatore & Bulte, Erwin, 2013. "The Impact of Kinship Networks on the Adoption of Risk-Mitigating Strategies in Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 100-110.
- Goetghebuer, Tatiana & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2010. "Inheritance patterns in migration-prone communities of the Peruvian Highlands," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 71-87, September.
- Kudo, Yuya, 2012. "Marriage as women's old age insurance : evidence from migration and land inheritance practices in rural Tanzania," IDE Discussion Papers 368, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
- David Dreyer Lassen & Helene Bie Lilleør, 2008. "Informal Institutions and Intergenerational Contracts: Evidence from Schooling and Remittances in Rural Tanzania," CAM Working Papers 2008-03, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
- Kuku, Oluyemisi & Gundersen, Craig & Garasky, Steven, 2011. "Differences in food insecurity between adults and children in Zimbabwe," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 311-317, April.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.