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Intergenerational Mobility and Interpersonal Inequality in an African Economy

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  • Sylvie Lambert

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

  • Martin Ravallion

    (Georgetown University - Georgetown University)

  • Dominique Van de Walle

    (Banque Mondiale - Banque Mondiale)

Abstract

How much economic mobility is there across generations in a poor, primarily rural, economy? How much do intergenerational linkages contribute to current inequality? We address these questions using original survey data on Senegal that include an individualized measure of consumption. While intergenerational linkages are evident, we find a relatively high degree of mobility across generations, associated with the shift from farm to non-farm sectors and greater economic activity of women. Male-dominated bequests of land and housing bring little gain to consumption and play little role in explaining inequality, though they have important effects on sector of activity. Inheritance of non-land assets and the education and occupation of parents (especially the mother) and their choices about children's schooling are more important to adult welfare than property inheritance. Significant gender inequality in consumption is evident, though it is almost entirely explicable in terms of factors such as education and (non-land) inheritance. There are a number of other pronounced gender differences, with intergenerational linkages coming through the mother rather than the father.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00933975.

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Date of creation: Jan 2014
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00933975

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Keywords: inheritance; land; mobility; inequality; gender;

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  1. Neha Kumar & Agnes Quisumbing, 2012. "Inheritance Practices and Gender Differences in Poverty and Well-Being in Rural Ethiopia," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 30(5), pages 573-595, 09.
  2. Amber Peterman, 2012. "Widowhood and Asset Inheritance in Sub-Saharan Africa: Empirical Evidence from 15 Countries," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 30(5), pages 543-571, 09.
  3. Klaus Deininger & Aparajita Goyal & Hari Nagarajan, 2013. "Women's Inheritance Rights and Intergenerational Transmission of Resources in India," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(1), pages 114-141.
  4. de Vreyer, Philippe & Lambert, Sylvie & Safir, Abla & Ballé Sylla, Momar, 2008. "Pauvreté et Structure Familiale, pourquoi une nouvelle enquête ?," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10922, Paris Dauphine University.
  5. Christelle Dumas & Sylvie Lambert, 2005. "Children education in Senegal : how does family background influence achievement," Research Unit Working Papers 0503, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
  6. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1985. "Specific Experience, Household Structure, and Intergenerational Transfers: Farm Family Land and Labor Arraangements in Developing Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(5), pages 961-87, Supp..
  7. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 903-37, October.
  8. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Estudillo, Jonna P. & Otsuka, Keijiro, 2004. "Land and schooling," Food policy statements 41, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  9. Kumar, Neha & Quisumbing, Agnes R., 2012. "Beyond “Death Do Us Part”: The Long-Term Implications of Divorce Perceptions on Women’s Well-Being and Child Schooling in Rural Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(12), pages 2478-2489.
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