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Marriage as women's old age insurance : evidence from migration and land inheritance practices in rural Tanzania

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  • Kudo, Yuya

Abstract

In a traditional system of exogamous and patrilocal marriage prevalent in much of Sub-Saharan Africa, when she marries, a rural woman typically leaves her kin to reside with her husband living outside her natal village. Since a village that allows a widow to inherit her late husband's land can provide her with old age security, single females living outside the village are more likely to marry into the village. Using a natural experimental setting, provided by the longitudinal household panel data drawn from rural Tanzania for the period from 1991 to 2004, during which several villages that initially banned a widow's land inheritance removed this discrimination, this study provides evidence in support of this view, whereby altering a customary land inheritance rules in a village in favor of widows increased the probability of males marrying in that village. This finding suggests that providing rural women with old age protection (e.g., insurance, livelihood protection) has remarkable spatial and temporal welfare effects by influencing their decision to marry.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO) in its series IDE Discussion Papers with number 368.

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Date of creation: Sep 2012
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Publication status: Published in IDE Discussion Paper. No. 368. 2012.9
Handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper368

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Related research

Keywords: Tanzania; Social security; Women welfare; Land tenure; Aged; Migration; Demography; Gender empowerment; Land ownership; Social custom; Widowhood;

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  1. Amber Peterman, 2011. "Women's Property Rights and Gendered Policies: Implications for Women's Long-term Welfare in Rural Tanzania," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(1), pages 1-30.
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