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Lasting welfare effects of widowhood in a poor country

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  • van de Walle, Dominique

Abstract

Little is known about the situation facing widows and their dependent children in West Africa especially after the widow remarries. Women in Malian society are vulnerable to the loss of husbands especially in rural areas. Households headed by widows have significantly lower living standards on average than male or other female headed households in both rural and urban areas; this holds both unconditionally and conditional on observable household and individual characteristics including age. Furthermore, the adverse welfare effects of widowhood appear to persist even after widows are absorbed into male headed households. An examination of individual measures of well-being further reveals that, relative to other women, worse outcomes for ever-widowed women persist through remarriage. These detrimental effects are passed on to children, indicating an intergenerational transmission of poverty stemming from widowhood.

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  • van de Walle, Dominique, 2011. "Lasting welfare effects of widowhood in a poor country," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5734, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5734
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    2. Fitzsimons, Emla & Villadsen, Aase, 2019. "Father departure and children's mental health: How does timing matter?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 222(C), pages 349-358.
    3. van den Bold, Mara & Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Gillespie, Stuart, 2013. "Women’s empowerment and nutrition: An evidence review:," IFPRI discussion papers 1294, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Lambert, Sylvie & Rossi, Pauline, 2016. "Sons as widowhood insurance: Evidence from Senegal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 113-127.
    5. Emla Fitzsimons & Alice Mesnard, 2012. "How children's schooling and work are affected when their father leaves permanently: evidence from Colombia," IFS Working Papers W12/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    6. Mikyla A. Callaghan & Dédé Watchiba & Eva Purkey & Colleen M. Davison & Heather M. Aldersey & Susan A. Bartels, 2021. "“I Don’t Know Where I Have to Knock for Support”: A Mixed-Methods Study on Perceptions and Experiences of Single Mothers Raising Children in the Democratic Republic of Congo," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(19), pages 1-25, October.
    7. van de Walle, Dominique, 2013. "Lasting Welfare Effects of Widowhood in Mali," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 1-19.
    8. Misheck Dube, 2022. "When the Challenges of Widowhood Extend to Childcare: Essential Considerations for Social Work Practice," Social Sciences, MDPI, vol. 11(5), pages 1-12, May.

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    Keywords

    Gender and Law; Population Policies; Gender and Development; Population&Development; Anthropology;
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