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Sons as widowhood insurance: Evidence from Senegal

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  • Lambert, Sylvie
  • Rossi, Pauline

Abstract

Exploiting original data from a Senegalese household survey, we provide evidence that fertility choices are partly driven by women's needs for widowhood insurance. We use a duration model of birth intervals to show that women most at risk in case of widowhood intensify their fertility, shortening birth spacing, until they get a son. Insurance through sons might entail substantial health costs since short birth spacing raises maternal and infant mortality rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Lambert, Sylvie & Rossi, Pauline, 2016. "Sons as widowhood insurance: Evidence from Senegal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 113-127.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:120:y:2016:i:c:p:113-127
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2016.01.004
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pauline Rossi, 2019. "Strategic Choices in Polygamous Households: Theory and Evidence from Senegal," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(3), pages 1332-1370.
    2. De Vreyer, Philippe & Nilsson, Björn, 2019. "When solidarity fails: Heterogeneous effects on children from adult deaths in Senegalese households," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 73-94.
    3. Virginie Comblon & Karine Marazyan, 2017. "Labor Supply Responses to Chronic Illness in Senegal," Working Papers 20170006, UMR Développement et Sociétés, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement.
    4. Sylvain Dessy, Setou Diarra, Roland Pongou & Setou Diarra & Roland Pongou, 2016. "Adolescent Brides and Grooms' Education: Theory and Evidence," Cahiers de recherche 1610, Centre de recherche sur les risques, les enjeux économiques, et les politiques publiques.
    5. Heath, Rachel & Tan, Xu, 2018. "Worth fighting for: Daughters improve their mothers' autonomy in South Asia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 255-271.
    6. Dessy, Sylvain & Diarra, Setou & Pongou, Roland, 2017. "Underage Brides and Grooms' Education," MPRA Paper 77326, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Rossi, Pauline & Rouanet, Léa, 2015. "Gender Preferences in Africa: A Comparative Analysis of Fertility Choices," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 326-345.
    8. Olivia Bertelli, 2015. "The more the merrier? Adjusting fertility to weather shocks," PSE Working Papers halshs-01226421, HAL.
    9. Olivia Bertelli, 2015. "The more the merrier? Adjusting fertility to weather shocks," Working Papers halshs-01226421, HAL.
    10. Sylvain Dessy & Setou Diarra & Roland Pongou, 2017. "Underage Brides and Grooms’ Education," Working Papers 1704E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    11. Jean-Marie Baland & Roberta Ziparo, 2017. "Intra-household bargaining in poor countries," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2017-108, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. David W. Lawson & Mhairi A. Gibson, 2018. "Polygynous marriage and child health in sub-Saharan Africa: What is the evidence for harm?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 39(6), pages 177-208.
    13. Lambert,Sylvie & Van De Walle,Dominique & Villar,Paola, 2017. "Marital trajectories and women's well-being in Senegal," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8230, The World Bank.
    14. Sarah Deschênes & Rozenn Hotte, 2019. "Assessing the Effects of an Education Policy on Women's Well-being: Evidence from Benin," PSE Working Papers halshs-02179704, HAL.
    15. Sylvain Eloi Dessy & Francesca Marchetta & Roland Pongou & Luca Tiberti, 2019. "Fertility Response to Climate Shocks," Working Papers PMMA 2019-06, PEP-PMMA.
    16. Sarah Deschênes & Christelle Dumas & Sylvie Lambert, 2020. "Household Resources and Individual Strategies," PSE Working Papers halshs-02563367, HAL.
    17. Deschênes, Sarah & Dumas, Christelle & Lambert, Sylvie, 2020. "Household resources and individual strategies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).
    18. Jipeng Zhang & Lue Zhan & Chong Lu, 2020. "The long-run effects of poverty alleviation resettlement on child development: Evidence from a quasi-experiment in China," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 43(10), pages 245-284.
    19. Lambert,Sylvie & Van De Walle,Dominique & Villar,Paola, 2017. "Marital trajectories and women's well-being in Senegal," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8230, The World Bank.
    20. Tim Krieger & Laura Renner, 2020. "Polygyny, Inequality, and Social Unrest," CESifo Working Paper Series 8230, CESifo.
    21. Sylvie Lambert & Philippe De Vreyer, 2017. "By ignoring intra-household inequality do we underestimate the extent of poverty?," Working Papers DT/2017/05, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    22. Dessy, Sylvain & Marchetta, Francesca & Pongou, Roland & Tiberti, Luca, 2020. "Climate Shocks and Teenage Fertility," GLO Discussion Paper Series 490, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    23. Hoque Nazmul & Boulier Bryan L., 2020. "Hi-tech Sexism? Evidence from Bangladesh," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 20(3), pages 1-39, July.
    24. Sarah Deschênes & Rozenn Hotte, 2019. "Assessing the Effects of an Education Policy on Women's Well-being: Evidence from Benin," Working Papers halshs-02179704, HAL.
    25. Jean-Marie Baland & Roberta Ziparo, 2017. "Intra-household bargaining in poor countries," WIDER Working Paper Series 108, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intra-household insurance; Gender; Fertility; Health; Senegal;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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