Adult deaths, poverty dynamics and demographic mobility in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: evidence from a household panel surveyISER External Seminars

Using three waves of the KwaZulu-Natal Income Dynamics Study, we examine how adult deaths affect households’ demographic composition, expenditure per capita and wealth, controlling for their initial and fixed characteristics. Between 1993 and 1998 adult deaths led to decreases in expenditure in poor households, but not better-off ones. As the mortality of young adults rose, this pattern reversed. Between 1998 and 2004 deaths of young adults affected the trend in expenditure most adversely in better-off households. The impact of adult deaths on households’ financial and other assets follows a similar pattern.
Fostering out children tends to improve the economic situation of both sending households and fostered children. However, although adult mortality and fostering are associated, this relationship is not a causal one: fostering does not usually result from demographic mishap or economic desperation.
In summary, the economic implications of adult deaths depend on the characteristics both of the person who dies and of their household. They vary both within and between countries. In KwaZulu-Natal, AIDS deaths are associated with, rather than an important cause of, poverty.

Presented by:

Julian May (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa) Ian M. Timæus (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

Date & time:

1 Jun 2009 15:00 pm - 1 Jun 2009 16:00 pm

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