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Heterogeneity of household structures and income: Evidence from Zimbabwe and South Africa

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  • Dassanayake, Wijaya
  • Luckert, Martin K.
  • Mohapatra, Sandeep

Abstract

The use of female-headship to identify vulnerable subgroups and to direct poverty-alleviation policies is a contentious issue. We demonstrate the importance of heterogeneity in household structures for establishing clearer links between female-headship and household income. Using data from Zimbabwe and South Africa, we find that female-headed households, as a whole, do not have lower incomes than male-headed households. Income differentials across female-headed households are significantly related to the amount of adult male presence, and its complementarity with children living in the households. Even after accounting for these sources of observed heterogeneity, we still find significant unexplained heterogeneity across female-headed households.

Suggested Citation

  • Dassanayake, Wijaya & Luckert, Martin K. & Mohapatra, Sandeep, 2015. "Heterogeneity of household structures and income: Evidence from Zimbabwe and South Africa," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 668-692.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jpolmo:v:37:y:2015:i:4:p:668-692
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpolmod.2014.11.005
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