Does Biological Relatedness Determine Household Resource Allocation?

El Daw Suliman, Johns Hopkins University
Mead Over, World Bank Group

The well-being of African orphans in the era of HIV/AIDS is becoming a global concern. The primary aim of this study is to examine whether adults allocate resources to children based on their degree of biological relatedness. In this study we use a panel data collected from 800 households in the Kagera district of Tanzania (one of the most HIV/AIDS affected areas in Africa) during the period 1991 to 1994. The analysis focuses on examining the resources available to an adult and the adult's degree of biological relatedness to a child, and their resulting impact on expenditure on child's clothing, child's nutritional status, child's education, and child's demand for health care. Our analysis show that a reduction in a child's biological relatedness to adults with disposable income reduces the number of years of schooling, expenditure on clothing for a child, and the demand for health care.

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Presented in Session 163: Consequences of HIV/AIDS