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Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old Age Pension and Intra-household Allocation in South Africa

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  • Esther Duflo

Abstract

This paper studies whether the impact of a cash transfer on child nutritional status is affected by the gender of its recipient. In the early 1990's, the benefits and coverage of the South African social pension program were expanded for the black population. In 1993, the benefits were about twice the median income per capita in rural areas. Over a quarter of black South African children under age five live with a pension recipient. My estimates suggest that pensions received by women had a large impact on the anthropometric status of girls (it improved their weight given height by 1.19 standard deviations, and their height given age by 1.16 standard deviations), but little effect on that of boys. In contrast, I found no similar effect for pensions received by men. This suggests that the household does not function as a unitary entity, and that they efficiency of public transfer programs may depend on the gender of the recipient.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8061.

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Date of creation: Dec 2000
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Publication status: published as Duflo, Esther, "Child Health And Household Resources In South Africa: Evidence From The Old Age Pension Program," American Economic Review, Vol. 90. no. 2 (May 2000): 393-398
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8061

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