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

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.

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

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