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Norms of Allocation within Nuclear and Extended-Family Households

Listed author(s):
  • Kazianga, Harounan
  • Wahhaj, Zaki

In many parts of Africa, traditional household structures consisting of an extended family headed by a patriarch are giving way to other types of households -- e.g. nuclear families, female-headed households -- as a result of migration, urbanisation and population pressures on land. In this paper, we explore whether traditional norms which determine how resources are allocated within the household are affected by the evolution of household structures. We show that the allocation of resources, for production and consumption, are closer to being efficient in nuclear family households as compared to extended family households. The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that individuals belonging to the same nuclear family have stronger ties, enabling them to commit to more efficient contracts infeasible for those connected through an extended family relation.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/205534
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Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association & Western Agricultural Economics Association in its series 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California with number 205534.

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Date of creation: 27 May 2015
Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea15:205534
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  1. Harounan Kazianga & Zaki Wahhaj, 2013. "Gender, Social Norms, and Household Production in Burkina Faso," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(3), pages 539-576.
  2. Richard Akresh, 2009. "Flexibility of Household Structure: Child Fostering Decisions in Burkina Faso," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(4).
  3. Bardhan, Pranab & Udry, Christopher, 1999. "Development Microeconomics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198773719.
  4. Kazianga, Harounan & Udry, Christopher, 2006. "Consumption smoothing? Livestock, insurance and drought in rural Burkina Faso," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 413-446, April.
  5. Paxson, Christina H, 1992. "Using Weather Variability to Estimate the Response of Savings to Transitory Income in Thailand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 15-33, March.
  6. Salvatore di Falco & Erwin Bulte, 2011. "A Dark Side of Social Capital? Kinship, Consumption, and Savings," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(8), pages 1128-1151, June.
  7. Goetghebuer, Tatiana, 2011. "Productive inefficiency in patriarchal family farms: evidence from Mali," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 34, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
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