GRIPS 政策研究センター Policy Research Center


2014/4/1 ~ 2015/3/31

Household decision-making in South Africa: a pilot project


This is a pilot project. The goal is to produce an initial plan and pilot experiment that can be used as a basis for a larger grant application in Japan (for kakenhi) and South Africa.


The aim is build an initial research collaboration with a respected research team in South Africa, by running an experiment and survey with some South African households.


The focus is on poorer households in South Africa where children’s education has often been heavily affected by HIV/AIDS. Teenage children may have to leave formal schooling in order to care for sick relatives or to earn money. The key question is how can such families be helped in a way that enables children to continue schooling? To understand the problem we need to know how the household channels its income and resources. Often there is intergenerational conflict and we plan to use experiments to investigate the patterns of decision-making.


The policy angle: to be effective, development and family policies that target poor and vulnerable households need to be informed by a proper empirical understanding of intra-household decision-making. Advancing knowledge in this field, from a South African perspective, requires field experiment(s) that focus on inter-generational aspects of decision-making within the extended family context, moving beyond the exclusive focus in field experiments conducted to date on decision-making by married couples in nuclear families.