Harris School of Public Policy
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL 60637
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|March 2011||Requiescat in Pace? The Consequences of High-Priced Funerals in South Africa|
with Anne Case
in Explorations in the Economics of Aging, David A. Wise, editor
|May 2009||Requiescat in Pace? The Consequences of High Priced Funerals in South Africa|
with Anne Case: w14998
We examine the costs associated with funerals and the effects of funeral spending on household functioning, using data collected in the Agincourt Demographic Surveillance Site in South Africa. We find that large outlays of money at the time of the funeral leave households vulnerable to future hardship. Households that buried a member report lower spending per person, poorer adult affect, and lower rates of school enrollment for children than do other households. We present evidence consistent with the financial burden associated with a funeral having direct, adverse effects on households.
Published: A. Case and A. Menendez Requiescat in Pace? The Consequences of High Priced Funerals in South Africa Chaper 11 in Explorations of Aging, David Wise (ed.), University of Chicago Press (2011)
|October 2008||Paying the Piper: The High Cost of Funerals in South Africa|
with Anne Case, Anu Garrib, Analia Olgiati: w14456
We analyze funeral arrangements following the deaths of 3,751 people who died between January 2003 and December 2005 in the Africa Centre Demographic Surveillance Area. We find that, on average, households spend the equivalent of a year's income for an adult's funeral, measured at median per capita African (Black) income. Approximately one-quarter of all individuals had some form of insurance, which helped surviving household members defray some fraction of funeral expenses. However, an equal fraction of households borrowed money to pay for the funeral. We develop a model, consistent with ethnographic work in this area, in which households respond to social pressure to bury their dead in a style consistent with the observed social status of the household and that of the deceased. Household...
Published: Anne Case & Anu Garrib & Alicia Menendez & Analia Olgiati, 2013. "Paying the Piper: The High Cost of Funerals in South Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(1), pages 1 - 20. citation courtesy of
|October 2007||Sex Differences in Obesity Rates in Poor Countries: Evidence from South Africa|
with Anne Case: w13541
Globally, men and women face markedly different risks of obesity. In all but of handful of (primarily Western European) countries, obesity is more prevalent among women than men. In this paper, we examine several potential explanations for this phenomenon. We analyze differences between men and women in reports and effects of the proximate causes of obesity -- physical exertion and food intake -- and the underlying causes of obesity -- childhood and adult poverty, depression, and attitudes about obesity. We evaluate the evidence for each explanation using data collected in an African township outside of Cape Town. Three factors explain the greater obesity rates we find among women. Women who were nutritionally deprived as children are significantly more likely to be obese as adults, while ...
Published: Case, Anne & Menendez, Alicia, 2009. "Sex differences in obesity rates in poor countries: Evidence from South Africa," Economics and Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 271-282, December. citation courtesy of