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Intra-household cooperation and inter-generational communication in the extended family: a field experiment in a poor urban community in Africa

Sevias Guvuriro () and Frederik Booysen
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Sevias Guvuriro: University of the Free State (UFS)
Frederik Booysen: University of the Witswatersrand

Review of Economics of the Household, 2020, vol. 18, issue 3, No 4, 635-653

Abstract: Abstract There is a dearth of studies on cooperation within the extended inter-generational family, a common living arrangement in Africa. This study employs a communication treatment and a 10-item Family Communication Scale (FCS) of the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales (FACES IV) to explain cooperation in a Voluntary Contribution Mechanism (VCM) beyond the laboratory. The study applies the Random Effect regression analysis. The results show that inter-generational cooperation is heterogeneous, limited and subject to decay, with stronger cooperation up the generational hierarchy. The framed field experiment presents evidence of the positive impact on cooperation of face-to-face communication and of positive perceptions of family communication. More specifically, communication mitigates contribution decay and enhances cooperation, especially between parents and grandparents and their children and grandchildren. Inter-generational transfers and the associated investment in family-type public goods can be augmented by social developmental policies such as parenting skills training that enhance family communication and in turn, intra-household cooperation.

Keywords: Field experiment; VCM; Cooperation; Communication; Family (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A13 C93 D19 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s11150-019-09465-y

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