Public Policy and Extended Families: Evidence from South Africa
Tightly knit extended families, in which people often give money to and get money from relatives, characterize many developing countries. These intra-family flows mean that public policies may affect a very different group of people than the one they target. To assess the empirical importance of these effects, we study a cash pension program in South Africa that targets the elderly. Focusing on three-generation households , we use the variation in pension receipt that comes from differences in the age of the elder(s) in the households. We find a sharp drop in the labor force participation of prime-age men in these households when elder women reach 60 years old or elder mean reach 65, the respective ages for pension eligibility. We also find that the drop in labor supply diminishes with family size, as the pension money is split over more people, and with educational attainment, as the pension money becomes less significant relative to outside earnings. Other findings suggest that power within the family might play an important role: (1) labor supply drops less when the pension is received by a man rather than by a woman; (2) middle aged men (those more likely to have control in the family) reduce labor supply more than younger men; and (3) female labor supply is unaffected. These last two findings also respectively suggest that the results are unlikely to be driven by increased human capital investment or by a need to stay home to care for the elderly. As a whole, this public policy seems to have had large effects on a group-prime age men living with the old-quite different from the one it originally targeted-elderly men and women.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2000|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan & Douglas Miller, 2003. "Public Policy and Extended Families: Evidence from Pensions in South Africa," World Bank Economic Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 27-50, June.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992.
"Collective Labor Supply and Welfare,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 437-67, June.
- Andreoni,J. & Vesterlund,L., 1998.
"Which is the fair sex? : Gender differences in altruism,"
10, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- James Andreoni & Lise Vesterlund, 2001. "Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 293-312.
- Andreoni, James & Vesterlund, Lise, 2001. "Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism," Staff General Research Papers 1951, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- T. Paul Schultz, 1990.
"Testing the Neoclassical Model of Family Labor Supply and Fertility,"
Journal of Human Resources,
University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 599-634.
- Schultz, T.P., 1990. "Testing The Neoclassical Model Of Family Labor Supply And Fertility," Papers 601, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991.
"Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market,"
Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington
91-08, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
- Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert A, 1993. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 988-1010, December.
- Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Working Papers 91-08, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
- Anne Case & Angus Deaton, 1996.
"Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa,"
NBER Working Papers
5572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Case, Anne & Deaton, Angus, 1998. "Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1330-61, September.
- Case, A. & Deaton, A., 1996. "Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa," Papers 176, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
- Thomas, D., 1989.
"Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach,"
586, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
- Guido W. Imbens & Donald B. Rubin & Bruce Sacerdote, 1999.
"Estimating the Effect of Unearned Income on Labor Supply, Earnings, Savings, and Consumption: Evidence from a Survey of Lottery Players,"
NBER Working Papers
7001, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Imbens, G.W. & Rubin, D. & Sacerdote, B., 1999. "Estimating the effect of unearned income on labor supply, earnings, savings and consumption : Evidence from a survey of lottery players," Discussion Paper 99.34, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Bergstrom, Theodore C, 1989. "A Fresh Look at the Rotten Kid Theorem--and Other Household Mysteries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1138-59, October.
- Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1.
- Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 1998. "Are Women Less Selfish Than Men? Evidence from Dictator Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 726-35, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7594. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.