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Poverty among the elderly in Sub-Saharan Africa and the role of social pensions

Listed author(s):
  • Nanak Kakwani
  • Kalanidhi Subbarao
Registered author(s):

    Drawing on household survey information, this study delineates the poverty profile of the elderly in 15 low-income sub-Saharan African countries which include countries with a high and low prevalence of the HIV-AIDS pandemic. The study shows that the poverty situation of the elderly living with children and the elderly-headed households is much worse than the average in many countries. The impact of providing a social pension to the elderly on group-specific and national poverty head-count ratios and poverty gap ratios, and its fiscal implications, are analysed. Simulating various plausible eligibility criteria and benefit levels, the study concludes that while the case for an universal (untargeted) social pension is weak, substantial welfare gains can be obtained at a low cost with a social pension targeted to the poor among the elderly.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

    Volume (Year): 43 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 6 ()
    Pages: 987-1008

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:43:y:2007:i:6:p:987-1008
    DOI: 10.1080/00220380701466476
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