Policies that improve early life human capital are a promising tool to alter disadvantaged children’s lifelong trajectories. Yet, in many low-income countries, children and their parents face tradeoffs between schooling and productive work.
A growing literature associates poverty with anomalies in decision-making. Researchers investigate this link in a sample of over 3,000 small-scale farmers in Zambia, who were given the opportunity to exchange randomly assigned household items for alternative items of similar value.
We study spillover effects of corruption, i.e., whether and how public information regarding politicians’ malfeasance in other jurisdictions can affect corruption and rent seeking in the home jurisdiction.
Estimating intergenerational mobility in developing countries is difficult because matched parent-child income records are rarely available and education is measured very coarsely. In particular, there are no established methods for comparing educational mobility for subsamples of the population when the education distribution is changing over time.
Languages use different systems for classifying nouns. Gender languages assign many — sometimes all — nouns to distinct sex-based categories, masculine and feminine. We construct a new data set, documenting this property for more than four thousand languages which together account for more than 99 percent of the world’s population.
David Atkin, MIT on A New Engel on the Gains from Trade. Measuring the gains from trade and their distribution is challenging. Recent empirical contributions have addressed this challenge by drawing on rich and newly available sources of microdata to measure changes in household nominal incomes and price indices. While such data have become available for some components of household welfare, and for some locations and periods, they are typically not available for the entire consumption basket. In this paper, we propose and implement an alternative approach that uses rich, but widely available, expenditure survey microdata to estimate theory-consistent changes in income-group specific price indices and welfare. Our approach builds on existing work that uses linear Engel curves and changes in expenditure on income-elastic goods to infer unobserved real incomes. A major shortcoming of this approach is that while based on non-homothetic preferences, the price indices it recovers are homothetic and hence are neither theory consistent nor suitable for distributional analysis when relative prices are changing. To make progress, we show that we can recover changes in income-specific price indices and welfare from horizontal shifts in Engel curves if preferences are quasi-separable (Gorman, 1970; 1976) and we focus on what we term “relative Engel curves”. Our approach is flexible enough to allow for the highly non-linear Engel curves we document in the data, and for non-parametric estimation at each point of the income distribution. We first implement this approach to estimate changes in cost of living and household welfare using Indian microdata. We then revisit the impacts of India’s trade reforms across regions.
Saumitra Jha, Stanford University will present Swords into Bank Shares: Financial Innovations and Innovators in Mitigating Political Violence in EDS Seminar on Tuesday, April 10 at 2:30pm in 201 Lorch Hall.
Economic Development Seminar presents Supreet Kaur (UC-Berkeley). Supreet will present "Scabs: The Social Suppression of Labor Supply" in the joint labor/development seminar on Friday, April 6, 1-2:30PM in Lorch 201.