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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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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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    Cited by:

    1. Shelley Clark & Dana Hamplová, 2013. "Single Motherhood and Child Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Life Course Perspective," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(5), pages 1521-1549, October.
    2. Lambert, Sylvie & Rossi, Pauline, 2016. "Sons as widowhood insurance: Evidence from Senegal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 113-127.
    3. Sylvie Lambert & Pauline Rossi, 2015. "Sons as Widowhood Insurance: Evidence from Senegal," Working Papers halshs-00948098, HAL.
    4. van de Walle, Dominique, 2013. "Lasting Welfare Effects of Widowhood in Mali," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 1-19.
    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.

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    Keywords

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

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