Stunting (low height-for-age) is known to be a good proxy for a child’s wellbeing. Several studies have suggested that the South African Child Support Grant (CSG) reduces stunting in benefiting children. However, all of these studies have estimated the impact of the CSG on the mean of the height-for-age distribution. This paper investigates how this benefit varies across the quantiles of the height-for-age distribution.
Household Production and Intrahousehold Allocation
Intra-household decision-making is a fundamental development issue, particularly so for less-privileged households in developing countries. The current study examines sources of bargaining power that inform financial decision-making processes within co-resident couples and determines how bargaining power and decision-making impact on family-type public goods expenditure. The study uses South Africa’s National Income Dynamic Study (NIDS), which offers a direct measure of financial decision-making responsibility.
Cash transfers successfully alleviate poverty in many developing countries. South Africa is a case in point, implementing one of the largest unconditional cash transfer programmes internationally, and with substantial benefits to household well-being along multiple dimensions. Yet, grants discourage formal labour market attachment, creating dependencies on the fiscus.
This paper adds to the literature on the crowding out effect of tobacco expenditure in two ways. Firstly, the paper uses expenditure data from a low income sub-Saharan African country, Zambia, where most households are poor. Secondly, unlike previous studies, we relax the exclusion restriction and allow the standard instrumental variable used in the literature, the adult sex ratio, to be correlated with the error term. We consider the relaxation of this restriction to be reasonable given what we know about the effects of household structure on households’ expenditure decisions.
This study develops an economic fertility model which explicitly incorporates both the costs of childrearing and contraception behaviour. In this setting, a couple capacity to procreate depends on their fecundity, as well as their contraception and sexual behaviours; and the ideal number of children is chosen by maximizing the utility of children, subject to a budget constraint reflecting the couple's income, and their specific explicit and implicit costs of rearing children.
Overreliance on biomass energy, such as firewood and charcoal, for cooking in developing countries has contributed to high rates of deforestation and resulted in substantial indoor pollution which has negatively impacted the health of many individuals. However, the effectiveness of public policies aimed at encouraging households to switch to cleaner fuels, such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and kerosene, hinges on the extent to which they are mentally committed to specific fuels.
The paper estimates the impact of the South African Child Support Grant (CSG) on child health, nutrition and education. Data from the 2008 South African National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) are used. Two non-experimental treatment evaluation techniques, both relying on propensity scores, are applied to six different outcome variables. Using propensity score matching with a binary outcome variable, no convincing evidence of improvements on any of the outcome variables is found. A second technique is therefore also applied, using a generalised form of the propensity scores.
A large number of child deaths in developing countries could be averted if ill children received care sooner rather than later. This paper analyses the healthcare treatment pathway that is followed for children under the age of six. The majority of these children receive treatment within 24 hours. However, we find that income affects the probability of any treatment, despite freely available public healthcare, while delayed treatment for severely ill children is more likely to occur in more expensive private facilities.