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Intergenerational Mobility and Interpersonal Inequality in an African Economy

  • Sylvie Lambert

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

  • Martin Ravallion

    (Georgetown University - Georgetown University)

  • Dominique Van de Walle

    (Banque Mondiale - Banque Mondiale)

How much economic mobility is there across generations in a poor, primarily rural, economy? How much do intergenerational linkages contribute to current inequality? We address these questions using original survey data on Senegal that include an individualized measure of consumption. While intergenerational linkages are evident, we find a relatively high degree of mobility across generations, associated with the shift from farm to non-farm sectors and greater economic activity of women. Male-dominated bequests of land and housing bring little gain to consumption and play little role in explaining inequality, though they have important effects on sector of activity. Inheritance of non-land assets and the education and occupation of parents (especially the mother) and their choices about children's schooling are more important to adult welfare than property inheritance. Significant gender inequality in consumption is evident, though it is almost entirely explicable in terms of factors such as education and (non-land) inheritance. There are a number of other pronounced gender differences, with intergenerational linkages coming through the mother rather than the father.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00933975.

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Date of creation: Jan 2014
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00933975
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00933975
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  1. Beck, Simon & De Vreyer, Philippe & Lambert, Sylvie & Marazyan, Karine & Safir, Abla, 2014. "Child Fostering in Senegal," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1403, CEPREMAP.
  2. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Estudillo, Jonna P. & Otsuka, Keijiro, 2004. "Land and schooling," Food policy statements 41, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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