Patterns and Determinants of Intergenerational Transfers in Rural Malawi

Iliana V. Kohler, University of Pennsylvania

High levels of HIV/AIDS morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa have profound and immediate impacts on multiple aspects of individuals’ and their extended families’ life, including patterns of monetary and non-monetary transfers between kin members that are vital to alleviating the effects of economic and health shocks on households. Sub-Saharan countries provide unique opportunity to investigate the transfer mechanisms individuals develop in a context characterized by a high risk disease environment combined with virtually non-existent institutional social support systems. We use extensive multi-generation micro-data from Malawi to investigate patterns and determinants of intergenerational transfers. We analyze the age pattern of transfers and investigate how transfers change between generations when a kin member experiences a health shock such as HIV infection. We describe how transfers relate to demographic determinants such as fertility, mortality and family structure.

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Presented in Session 34: Intergenerational Exchanges across Countries and Societies