Motives for Household Private Transfers in Burkina Faso
55 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2004
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: Suggested Citation