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Family Prestige as Old-Age Security: Evidence from Rural Senegal

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  • Jean-Luc Demonsant

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Finance, Universidad de Guanajuato)

Abstract

This paper aims at studying the self-enforcing family contract between a migrant son and his ageing father who remained in the village and expects to receive support. In 2004, a household survey conducted in the Senegal River Valley was especially designed to account for the complex socio-political structure of the local institutions. The empirical results suggest that the social rank of the family within the village is a key to the enforcement mechanisms at work. Indeed, while belonging to a prestigious family lowers the probability of migrating, it raises the probability of frequently remitting to the patriarch. Conversely, sons from historically disadvantaged groups are more likely to both migrate and cut ties with their village of origin, including their family. Additional qualitative evidence is rather suggestive that despite their economic success, low status migrants keep being stigmatized in their village of origin. Hence, inheriting his father's dominant position in the village represents a strong incentive for a migrant son from a high-ranked family to remit. Under such circumstances, patriarchs from prestigious families only, can actually rely on their migrating sons as old-age security.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universidad de Guanajuato, Department of Economics and Finance in its series Department of Economics and Finance Working Papers with number EC200802.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gua:wpaper:ec200802

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Related research

Keywords: Migration; Old-Age Support; Caste; Senegal River Valley;

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  1. Fafchamps, Marcel, 1992. "Solidarity Networks in Preindustrial Societies: Rational Peasants with a Moral Economy," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 147-74, October.
  2. 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.
  3. Coate, Stephen & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Reciprocity without commitment : Characterization and performance of informal insurance arrangements," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-24, February.
  4. Lucas, Robert E B & Stark, Oded, 1985. "Motivations to Remit: Evidence from Botswana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 901-18, October.
  5. Azam, Jean-Paul & Gubert, Flore, 2006. "Migrants' Remittances and the Household in Africa: A Review of Evidence," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/5126, Paris Dauphine University.
  6. Edward Miguel, 2005. "Poverty and Witch Killing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(4), pages 1153-1172.
  7. Hoddinott, John, 1992. "Rotten Kids or Manipulative Parents: Are Children Old Age Security in Western Kenya?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(3), pages 545-65, April.
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