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

Inheriting the family farm can be a mixed blessing in a setting in which land and credit markets do not work well, and being in charge of the farm comes with familial and societal sharing obligations relevant to incentives for diversification into non-farm activities. Using original data on Senegal that include an individualized measure of consumption, we study the role played by land inheritance, other bequests and parental background as influences on an individual adult’s economic welfare and current economic activities, emphasizing differences between men and women. The main finding is that bequests of land and housing bring little gain to mean consumption and play little role in explaining current in equality, though there are some effects on 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 land inheritance. There are some pronounced gender differences, with a number of intergenerational linkages coming through the mother rather than the father.

Lambert, Sylvie, Ravallion, Martin and van de Walle, Dominique
Publisher and location: 
Policy Research Working Paper
Source publication: 
The World Bank Development Research Group & Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network Gender Group