Widowhood and Asset Inheritance in Sub‐Saharan Africa: Empirical Evidence from 15 Countries uri icon

abstract

  • Widows in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are perceived to face discrimination in asset inheritance, leading to poverty for themselves and their children. However, large-sample empirical research supporting this claim is scarce. This article explores asset inheritance among widows using two data sources: (i) nationally representative demographic and health survey (DHS) data from 15 SSA countries, and (ii) a 13-year longitudinal panel from the Kagera region in north-west Tanzania. Results indicate that, across the 15 DHS countries, less than half of widows report inheriting any assets; the proportion reporting inheriting the majority of assets is lower. Findings from Kagera indicate that the value of inheritance is significant in determining changes in long-term household welfare.

publication date

  • 2012
  • 2012
  • 2012