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Lazy Rotten Sons? Relatedness, gender and the intra-household allocation of work and leisure in South Africa

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  • Martin Wittenberg

    ()
    (School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

Abstract

We investigate the balance between work (including home production), leisure and personal care (chiefly sleep) within South African households. We use the South African time use survey which enables us to obtain a better measure of the division of total labour (paid and unpaid) within South African households than previous studies have been able to. Furthermore we construct a measure of "genetic" relatedness between the respondent and other members of the household. We find that women that are more closely related to other household members do more work and enjoy less leisure than more peripheral individuals. Single men, by contrast, seem to do less work and enjoy more leisure if they are more closely related to other household members. Our findings are not compatible with the unitary model of the household. They suggest that men extract extra leisure because of the anticipated altruism shown by women.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town in its series SALDRU Working Papers with number 28.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ldr:wpaper:28

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Related research

Keywords: altruism; genetic relatedness; Hamilton’s rule; intra-household allocation; rotten kid theorem; time use;

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  1. Maitra, Pushkar & Ray, Ranjan, 2003. "The effect of transfers on household expenditure patterns and poverty in South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 23-49, June.
  2. Dauphin, Anyck & Fortin, Bernard, 2000. "A Test of Collective Rationality for Multi-Person Households," Cahiers de recherche 0005, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  3. Manser, Marilyn & Brown, Murray, 1980. "Marriage and Household Decision-Making: A Bargaining Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 31-44, February.
  4. Jeff E. Biddle & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1989. "Sleep and the Allocation of Time," NBER Working Papers 2988, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan & Douglas Miller, 2003. "Public Policy and Extended Families: Evidence from Pensions in South Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(1), pages 27-50, June.
  6. Anne Case, 2001. "Health, Income and Economic Development," Working Papers 207, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  7. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1997. "Introducing Household Production in Collective Models of Labor Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 191-209, February.
  8. Yuk-fai Fong & Junsen Zhang, 2001. "The Identification of Unobservable Independent and Spousal Leisure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(1), pages 191-202, February.
  9. Stark,Oded, 1999. "Altruism and Beyond," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521663731, October.
  10. Bergstrom, Theodore C, 1989. "A Fresh Look at the Rotten Kid Theorem--and Other Household Mysteries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1138-59, October.
  11. Donald Cox, 2007. "Biological Basics and the Economics of the Family," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 91-108, Spring.
  12. Chiu, Y. Stephen & Rachel Yang, B., 1999. "The outside option, threat point, and Nash bargaining solution," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 181-188, February.
  13. Shelly J. Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak & Terence J. Wales, 1997. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from the United Kingdom Child Benefit," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 463-480.
  14. Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
  15. Marianne Bertrand & Douglas Miller & Sendhil Mullainathan, 1999. "Public Policy and Extended Families: Evidence from South Africa," Working Papers 801, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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