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Is it what you inherited or what you learnt ? Intergenerational linkage and interpersonal inequality in Senegal

  • Lambert, Sylvie
  • Ravallion, Martin
  • van de Walle, Dominique

Institutional features of the African setting -- large extended families and imperfect credit and land markets -- matter to the equity and efficiency roles played by intergenerational linkages. Using original survey data on Senegal that include an individualized measure of consumption, this paper studies the role played by land inheritance, other bequests and parental background as influences on an adult's economic welfare and economic activities. Although intergenerational linkages are evident, the analysis finds a seemingly high degree of mobility across generations, associated with the shift from farm to non-farm sectors and the greater economic activity of women. Male-dominated bequests of land and housing bring little gain to mean consumption and play little role in explaining inequality, although they have effects on the 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, although 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 The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5658.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5658
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  1. Ravallion, Martin & Dearden, Lorraine, 1988. "Social Security in a "Moral Economy": An Empirical Analysis for Java," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 36-44, February.
  2. M. Anne Hill & Elizabeth King, 1995. "Women's education and economic well-being," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 21-46.
  3. Roy, Sanchari, 2011. "Empowering Women: Inheritance Rights and Female Education in India," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 46, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  4. Hanan G. Jacoby & Bart Minten, 2007. "Is Land Titling in Sub-Saharan Africa Cost-Effective? Evidence from Madagascar," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(3), pages 461-485, June.
  5. Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Jérémie Gignoux, 2011. "The Measurement Of Inequality Of Opportunity: Theory And An Application To Latin America," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(4), pages 622-657, December.
  6. Stein T. Holden & Klaus Deininger & Hosaena Ghebru, 2007. "Impacts of Low-Cost Land Certification on Investment and Productivity," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(2), pages 359-373.
  7. Jonna P. Estudillo & JAgnes R. Quisumbing & JoKeijiro Otsuka, 2001. "Gender Differences in Land Inheritance and Schooling Investments in the Rural Philippines," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(1), pages 130-143.
  8. Feder, Gershon & Noronha, Raymond, 1987. "Land Rights Systems and Agricultural Development in Sub-Saharan Afric a," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 2(2), pages 143-69, July.
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