Motives for Household Private Transfers in Burkina Faso

55 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2004  

Harounan Kazianga

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater

Date Written: October 2004


Resource transfers among households have received considerable interest among economists in recent years. Two of the main reasons for the surge of interest in household transfers are the information on human nature conveyed by transfer behavior and the implication on income redistribution policy that private transfer might have. Empirical studies, however, provide mixed results on transfer behavior. This is because previous inquiries were confronted with several estimation issues and have focused on data from developed countries where private transfers are already small. This paper contributes to the literature on transfer behavior by using a multifaceted econometric approach to examine the motives of household transfers in Burkina, a low-income country with a well-documented tradition of gift exchanges. The findings suggest that risk sharing is not central to transfers. Altruistic transfers are apparent for the middle income class, but not a low income level. The evidence implies that crowding out may be minimal at a low income level, suggesting that public transfers targeting poor households may be effective.

Keywords: Private transfers, Altruism, Exchanges, Risk Sharing

JEL Classification: D63, D64, I15, I30

Suggested Citation

Kazianga, Harounan, Motives for Household Private Transfers in Burkina Faso (October 2004). Yale University Economic Growth Center Discussion Papers No. 895. Available at SSRN:

Harounan Kazianga (Contact Author)

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater ( email )

Stillwater, OK 74078-0555
United States

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