- Sons as Widowhood Insurance: Evidence from Senegal
- Journal of Development Economics
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam School of Economics Research Institute (ASE-RI)
- Exploiting original data from a Senegalese household survey, we provide evidence that fertility choices are partly driven by women's needs for widowhood insurance. We use a duration model of birth intervals to show that women most at risk in case of widowhood intensify their fertility, shortening birth spacing, until they get a son. Insurance through sons might entail substantial health costs since short birth spacing raises maternal and infant mortality rates.
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