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Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old Age Pension and Intra-household Allocation in South Africa

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  • Esther Duflo

Abstract

This paper studies whether the impact of a cash transfer on child nutritional status is affected by the gender of its recipient. In the early 1990's, the benefits and coverage of the South African social pension program were expanded for the black population. In 1993, the benefits were about twice the median income per capita in rural areas. Over a quarter of black South African children under age five live with a pension recipient. My estimates suggest that pensions received by women had a large impact on the anthropometric status of girls (it improved their weight given height by 1.19 standard deviations, and their height given age by 1.16 standard deviations), but little effect on that of boys. In contrast, I found no similar effect for pensions received by men. This suggests that the household does not function as a unitary entity, and that they efficiency of public transfer programs may depend on the gender of the recipient.

Suggested Citation

  • Esther Duflo, 2000. "Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old Age Pension and Intra-household Allocation in South Africa," NBER Working Papers 8061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8061
    Note: CH
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    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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