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90(%)GRAPH 8Marital Status of Adult Offspring Living in Brazilian Families Headed by theElderly in 19958070605040MarriedSingleDivorced/Widowed3020100Male head Female head Male head Female headUrbanRuralSouce: IBGE, PNAD of 1995.TABLE 9Proportion of Grandchildren Living in Families Headed by the Elderly According to theHead Sex(In %)MaleFemaleBrazil and regions urban 1981 1999 1981 1999Northeast 5.1 6.3 12.0 14.8Southeast 2.1 3.5 5.3 10.6Brazil 3.2 4.0 8.2 12.0RuralNortheast 5.8 6.6 12.0 16.0Southeast 3.3 2.3 5.9 10.0Brazil 4.4 4.9 7.3 12.5Source: IBGE, PNAD of 1981 and 1999.their families’ reproduction. This is true only for part of male benefits [Brumer(2001)]. This is also possible as approximately 75% of the Brazilian elderly are livingin their own homes and their average income is 1.6 times larger than that of theworker population aged 20-29 years.The situation mentioned above is not specific to Brazil. A study by Duflo(2000) found over a quarter of black South African children under age five living infamilies with at least one social security beneficiary. She shows that pensions receivedby women had a large impact on the anthropometric status of the girls, but littleeffect on that of boys. On the other hand, a similar effect was not found for pensionsreceived by men. This suggests that the efficiency of public transfer programs maydepend on the gender of the recipient as the household does not function as a unitaryentity.The second question addressed in this paper is how the spread of social securitybenefits has contributed to the reduction of poverty. In 1981, the proportion of poorfamilies was not very much affected by whether the families did or did not have20

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