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The Power of the Family: Kinship and Intra-Houselhold Decision-Making in Rural Burundi

Listed author(s):
  • Rama Lionel Ngenzebuke
  • Bram De Rock
  • Philip Verwimp

We investigate and bring to light the role of kinship networks as a determinantof female’s bargaining power through her decision-making authorityin rural Burundi. We distinguish, on one hand, between immediate andextended family and between extended family members living within andoutside the village on the other hand. We bring to the fore a number of keyfindings. First, kinship network characteristics are strong determinants ofwithin household decision-making power. On one hand, female whose nextof kins are at least as rich as her husband’s counterparts enjoy a greater sayover children and asset-related decision-making. On the other hand, femalewith bigger and richer extended family also enjoy a greater say over childrenand asset-related decision-making. Second, the effect of kinship networkcharacteristics depends on the nature of family ties: the effect of thefemale’s immediate family is significantly and consistently greater than theeffect of her extended family. Third, kinship network characteristics matterfor female’s bargaining power even more importantly than individual andhousehold-level characteristics in rural Burundi. Last but not the least, wefind out that male’s education increases female’s say more than wife’s educationitself, particularly over asset-related decision-making.

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File URL: https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/163247/3/2014-29-NGENZEBUKE_DEROCK_VERWIMP-thepower.pdf
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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers ECARES with number ECARES 2014-29.

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Length: 42 p.
Date of creation: May 2014
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/163247
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