Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
African Successes, Volume IIHuman Capital$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Sebastian Edwards, Simon Johnson, and David N. Weil

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226316055

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226316192.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 14 October 2019

Family Ties, Inheritance Rights, and Successful Poverty Alleviation

Family Ties, Inheritance Rights, and Successful Poverty Alleviation

Evidence from Ghana

Chapter:
(p.215) 7 Family Ties, Inheritance Rights, and Successful Poverty Alleviation
Source:
African Successes, Volume II
Author(s):

Edward Kutsoati

Randall Morck

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226316192.003.0007

Ghanaian custom views children as members of either their mother’s or father’s lineage (extended family), but not both. Patrilineal custom charges a man’s lineage with caring for his widow and children, while matrilineal custom places this burden on the widows’ lineage–her father, brothers, and uncles. Ghana enacted the Intestate Succession (PNDC) Law 111, 1985 and 1998 Children’s Act 560 to force men to provide for their widows and children, as in Western cultures. Our survey shows that, although most people die intestate and many profess to know Law 111, it is rarely implemented. Knowledge of the law correlates with couples accumulating assets jointly and with inter-vivos husband to wife transfers, controlling for education. These effects are least evident for widows of matrilineal lineage men, suggesting a persistence of traditional norms. Widows with closer ties with their own or their spouse’s lineage report greater financial support, as do those very few who benefit from legal wills or access Law 111 and, importantly, widows of matrilineal lineage. Some evidence also supports Act 560 benefiting nuclear families, especially if the decedent’s lineage is matrilineal. Overall, our study confirms African traditional institutions’ persistent importance, and the limited effects of formal law.

Keywords:   Africa, customary lineages, inheritance laws, wealth acquisition

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.