Labor supply responses to large social transfers: Longitudinal evidence from South Africa

Ardington, Cally, Case, Anne and Hosegood, Victoria (2009) Labor supply responses to large social transfers: Longitudinal evidence from South Africa. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 1, (1), 22-48. (doi:10.1257/app.1.1.22).


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We quantify the labor supply responses of prime-aged adults to the presence of pensioners in their households, using longitudinal data collected in South Africa. We compare households and individuals before and after pension receipt and pension loss, which allows us to control for a host of unobservable household and individual characteristics that may determine labor market behavior. We find large cash transfers to the elderly lead to increased employment among prime-aged adults, which occurs primarily through labor migration. The pension's impact is attributable to the increase in household resources it represents, which can be used to stake migrants until they become self-sufficient, and to the presence of pensioners who can care for small children, which allows prime-aged adults to look for work elsewhere.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1257/app.1.1.22
ISSNs: 1945-7782 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences
ePrint ID: 181781
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
January 2009Published
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2011 13:04
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:36

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